(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Generally, criminals respond best to force. If you want to stop a crime in its tracks, you often need to present yourself as a threat. It’s why so many of us carry firearms, so that we can present a threat to criminals. We know that asking politely usually doesn’t end crime. You know, as a general rule.

But what about after the crime has been committed?

Well, an auction house in Decatur, Illinois was recently robbed. The thief or thieves stole several things, including firearms. Now, the auction house is asking for the bad guys to bring the guns back.

Owners of the Cody Redman Auctioneer Service had nine guns stolen from them July 6th and now they are looking for them to be safely returned.

There is still mud on their back door, which is what the office manager at Cody Redman Auctioneer Services tells me is how they are trying to identify who stole some of their items.

Despite having several things out on display, the thieves only went for one thing, which is the guns.

Nine were stolen in total, which include pistols, a double barrel shotgun as well as a B.B. gun.

“Well it looks like what they did is they held on to the sides here, they kicked from behind,” Office Manager Gabriel Schuerman said.

Schuerman said thieves came in the night and no one knows why.

But now, they just have a simple request.

“Just return them and nothing will happen. We won’t press charges, we won’t do anything, just return that’s all we want. Just want the guns back,” Schuerman said.

The note itself reads:

“To the robber who kicked down our door and stole items from our office, your mother is probably ashamed of you! I would love to meet face-to-face. I am easy to find, see card below. If you come back to steal from us again, please come through the windows. The door was a little expensive to repair.”

Right to mama-shaming them. Harsh.

Will the note work? Probably not. At least, it’s not likely to. After all, they went straight to the guns, which means those were probably the target from the start. It’s unlikely they’ll return them and make it all go away.

For what it’s worth, though, Cody Redman’s isn’t banking on that either. They’re also offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the guns. That’s a strategy that’s far more likely to pay off in the long run, though the note is far less expensive.

Unfortunately, though, people need to remember that what criminals often do is steal firearms and put them on the streets, which is where so many guns come from. They’re not being sold legally. They’re breaking the law in some way, shape, or form to obtain them, often skirting laws put in place to stop them from getting guns, and that’s when they’re not breaking into auction houses to steal them outright.

I hope whoever broke into Cody Redman’s gets caught, prosecuted, and sent away for a long time.

I also applaud whoever decided to give the note a try. After all, you never know.