Boise police used a theft earlier this spring at a Northwest Boise home as an example Thursday of how to boost the chances of your stolen firearms being recovered.
Thirty of 38 guns stolen from the house in early June were recovered and will be passed back to the owner. That’s in part because of that owner’s documentation, police said in a press release — including serial numbers, makes and models for all of the guns.
“We’re always looking for ways to get property back to people when those items are lost or stolen. It’s fairly frequent, however, that property owners don’t have proof of ownership, like serial numbers or photographs. Whether its firearms, bikes or jewelry, that documentation often means the difference in being able to return what was taken,” Sgt. John Terry said in the release.
Steps that BPD says will improve the odds of stolen goods being recovered and returned:
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• Record the serial numbers of firearms, electronics and other items. The numbers don’t need to be shared anywhere — just keep them in a private, secure spot .
• Take photos of items you’re concerned about.
• Keep safes secure and hard to spot from outside of your home. Considering bolting them to the ground.
Homeowner’s insurance may not cover some items like firearms or jewelry without a specific policy, BPD warns.
THE JUNE CASE
Three Kuna residents were arrested and charged in the Northwest Boise gun theft.
Boise police were called June 5 about a burglary at the home sometime in late April or May, when a safe containing the 38 guns was taken from a garage. No one was living in the home at the time, according to the press release. Investigators believe that the burglars knew where the safe was and specifically targeted the house.
Some of the firearms were found to have been sold online or through retailers, according to police. Boise police, Ada County Sheriff's Office deputies and District 4 Probation and Parole officers also discovered a number of them during a search of a Kuna home. Guns were recovered from stores in Idaho, Missouri, South Dakota and California.
Two suspects — Anita Moore, 46, and Keith Latscha, 47 — were arrested June 12 at a home in Kuna. The third — Eric Bowles, 41 — was arrested June 18 at a different home.
Moore is charged with grand theft and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday. At a preliminary, a magistrate judge decides if there is enough evidence to pass a case on to District Court and a trial.
Bowles and Latscha each face counts of grand theft, burglary and unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. Bowles has a preliminary hearing set for July 2. Latscha's preliminary is also on the calendar for Friday.
Moore and Latscha are still in the Ada County Jail; Bowles posted $50,000 bond on Wednesday.
GUNS STILL MISSING
Police are still looking for eight firearms:
• Winchester 94 lever action rifle 30 WCF (30-30) SN: 1502925
• American Derringer Company stainless .45 with rose colored grips SN: 46346
• Colt Diamondback .38 revolver with 2 ½” barrel and original box SN: D84932
• Colt Police Positive .38 revolver with 4” barrel SN: 666872
• Colt Agent .38 revolver 1 7/8” barrel SN: M64497
• Colt 1903 .32 rimless semi-auto pistol 4” barrel SN: 68734
• Remington Scoremaster 511 .22 bolt action rifle with Bushnell 4x scope SN: Unknown
• Colt MK IV series 80 Government .45 1911 semi auto pistol SN: SS16716
Investigators won’t charge anyone who unknowingly bought one of the stolen guns, the release states; they just want to recover them.
Anyone with information about the missing guns, the case or the defendants is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS.