JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 6 (UPI) — The owner of an antique, pearl-handled Colt .45, stolen in Florida and missing for more than a decade says he has gotten the heirloom gun back.
Kent Van Riper of Texas said his nickel-plated, single-action revolver was in his car when both were stolen in 1997 as he and his family were traveling through Jacksonville, Fla., The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union reported.
The pistol had been given to Van Riper’s great-grandfather, James M. Van Riper, in 1901 when he was appointed the first chief of the San Antonio Police Department, the newspaper said Friday.
In December, after officials received a tip two people were attempting to sell the antique revolver, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives met with Vyctor Ramone Lockett, 33, of Jacksonville and Jamie Ann Knight, 35, of St. Augustine in a restaurant parking lot.
The gun was recovered, and the pair were subsequently arrested and convicted. The gun, no longer needed as evidence, was returned to Van Riper Wednesday.
“I cannot describe to you how I feel,” Van Riper told authorities. “My grandfather gave this Colt to me on his death bed.”