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I was not going to post this as I am a very private person. But time heals and I want to help you if I can.

While being on vacation enjoying to beautiful sky's of Montana some low lifes decided to break in and rob our house.
I have learned the hard way, gun safes are no good unless you have a safe in the garage to lock up all your tools. The insult to injury is that these POS used my tools to hack and cut open my safe.
Not a cheap safe at all. I had the safe custom build by Citadel in Utah to my specs in thickness and fire rating.

They used my angle grinder with my cutting blades to do the cuts on the top joint. Then it looks like they used my sawzall to cut out the inside stop edge. This gave them access to cut some of the bolts, two on top and two on the left side. I have five bolts on each side and three on top. I guess at that point they tried using my pry bars to pop it, no good. Then they used the angle grinder and sawzall to cut the top edge of the safe wall. Then they continued to cut the safe wall itself till they had a large gap to get at the bolts. This wide gap gave them the ability to use the pry bar to pop open the safe. It must have taken them many hours. They had all of my Christmas extension cords all over the house. Looks like they had been tripping breakers. There was so much smoke and dust from cutting the metal and insulation they set off the smoke detectors in the house, evident by the some detectors on the floor and the ceiling fans on full speed.

I would like you to learn from my experience and pass it on to all safe owners to help protect their firearms collection. No insurance will ever replace the value of those firearms. The value to me is not about money, it's in the value of the people that took the time and energy to make me something special to enjoy and treasure for the rest of my life. I think what hurts most is that I hoped to hand these special firearms down to my grandchildren and even one day to my great grandchildren.

It has been more than 30 days since the robbery and no sign of the firearms. The police have been working very hard as they have the support of the Sheriff. The ATF is also involved. Their concern is that there are 75 plus firearms out in the street, otherwise they would not be spending that much time on this case.

Please make sure that you, your friends and customers take the right precautions to prevent this. Make sure when they buy a safe the bolts are case hardened and the safe steel gauge is thick. The joint around the door should be very tight. It is almost impossible to prevent someone from doing something they do for a living but at least make them work for it.

We have also upgraded the house alarm system. We now have a cellular dialer for monitoring and have added exterior horns and strobe in the front, side and rear of the house. My wife is hoping this will now wake up our neighbors. We have added two motion detectors downstairs and upstairs as well as a glass breaking sensors.

After cleaning up some of the safe, and cutting out some of the pieces left hanging off the safe. I checked and all the bolts where still all locked out. I then dialed the combo, turned the handles and they still functioned. I then closed the safe door and turned the handle opening the bolts. The safe is still functioning and you cannot open the door, you can however use a large pry bar on the side and top to pop the door open.

It has not been easy losing everything that was in the safe. Having to deal with all the other things relating to such an event as this has been more trying then you can ever imagine. We have our health and some humor left. I got a local safe company to haul the safe away and the guy asked when are you getting another safe? With a smile I said we don’t have anything left to lock up.

I will try to attach some pictures, if I can't I will send them if you request.

Regards
Steve
Las Vegas, NV
 

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Very sorry to hear about your unfortunate situation. Not trying to play detective, but it sounds like these guys knew you, or at least knew enough about you ahead of time. They knew that you had lots of guns. They knew you were going to be away from home for awhile. They knew you already had the power tools necessary to help them cut open the safe, and obviously weren't the least bit concerned that you, a neighbor, a relative, or the police might be dropping by anytime soon. This obviously was no gang of teenage thugs breaking in looking for something to steal. These guys planned it. They knew what they were after and how to get to it. You might want to start giving some hard thought as to who you've shown your collection to in recent months.
 

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A very gutwrenching story. I'm very sorry for your losses, and I shudder to think of how you must feel. I wish you nothing but the best.
 

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Devastated

I know you must be devastated. I have a feeling though they knew they had a gold mine inside if they could get to it.

In 1980 I had 13 rifles and pistols stolen from me one was a non fired Remington 12 ga BDL. I was a mid level NCO and could never recoupe that loss. The worst of it was they stole a non working 32 Iver Johnson that was my fathers. I cried like a baby.

I said to heck with it and never bought any more. I did by a cheap double barrel 12 ga sawed it off to legal.

That still is my come see me greeter.

Just in the last couple years I have bought a couple pistols (1911) included to have some fun with.

I hope they make a mistake and brag they usually do.

Dan :(
 

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As I posted in another thread, sorry to hear about the loss. Pictures would be interesting I bet.
 

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Going through some of your other posts, it is clear you had a lot of really expensive pieces. I'm even more convinced that somebody knew what you had and made plans to get to it while you were away.
 

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I had a fire in my stomache reading your post, I'm so sorry this happend to you and your wife. Obviously you took precautions and you didn't deserve this to happen to you at all.

As DSK mentioned, someone that knows ya or a person that is associated to that person. These people know you, of you, knew you'd be gone and for how long. These people are probably working in body shops, sheetmetal shops or construction having knowledge of what type of blade/tool can cut through metal of a safes thickness. The crooks would also have to know how to attempt getting into the safe (again mechanical ability backround), most small time robbers wouldn't take on the challenge. I'd think 2 people at the very least were involved (1 look out and the guy doing the actual safe cracking). I hate to suggest it but sometimes young family members try to make a quick buck off their family to feed addictions (happened to my neighbor, lost his firearms to a drug addicted grandson).

I hope you find out/prosecute who did this and only wish the anguish/loss on those scumb that you had to endure.

*Please pm me if ya find out who did it.
 

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I'm so very sorry that this happened to you and your wife, as are probably all members on this board. I hope they catch who did this. I try to put myself in your place, but then I get too angry to think straight.
 

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I have a few guns in three different gun safes. I am home almost 24/7 except for a trip to the doctors and Walmart, the credit union and the Vet for the dogs. I hate driving up to NY for visits and leaving the guns at home. The first year I moved from NY I made at least 6 trips back. This year was 2 times but I am cutting it down to once a year I keep quiet about it but I tell the neighbor so he can keep an eye on the house. I am seriously thinking that my guns may be better off if I take the most expensive ones and the ones I have a sentimental attachment to and hiding them in one of the hundreds of hiding places I have in the house.

I am planning on driving to CMP in Alabama to buy a M1 Garand in the near future but I should be able to make the trip without staying overnight.

I hate scum that does this type of thing. This Thanksgiving will be 3 years since I caught someone in my house. He ran out the house before I was able to swing my shotgun in his direction, and my emotions went from relief that I didn't have to kill him and them I would think about what he did and be ticked off I didn't kill him so he wouldn't be able to do it to anyone else. I guess this Thanksgiving will bring back memories and the anger all over again. I can't say if I caught someone again I would kill them because I was 100% sure back then the problem was the guy ran so fast when I swung the gun in his direction I couldn't get off a shot. I am positive that if I ever get a clear shot at someone that breaks in I will not miss. I am sure that when you think you have gotten over it something will remind you and get you ticked off all over again the same way this thread brought up bad memories of my break in.
 

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I am sorry to hear about what happened to you, but at least you and your wife still have your health, Sooner or later your guns will show back up on the streets and BG will get caught.

Clyde
 

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My sincerest condolences. I have been there. Big time. Your perspectives will always be different.

But the good news...

My weapons were stolen in 2000. Just in the past 30 days, two more have shown up. One from Oakland, California! Some comeback very quickly, and those are the ones that end up leading to the actual perpetrators of the crime. Some come back more slowly. Some in excellent condition. Some not so much.

I have some advice. When some people go get jammed up for this, make sure you attend their criminal cases. If you aren't there to specify restitution and the amounts, the court may not order enough or any.

Over time, things heal. Anymore when I get notice of something coming back, it is almost like Christmas. I get all excited! What is it? What condition? Where did it come from? What happened to it?

Just mere minutes ago, I was typing a latter to a Chief LEO asking them to release another one back to me. Over time, it does get better. The how depends on you.

Regards,
Greyson
 

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I'm also sorry about hearing this story.. I too believe like DSK that this was an "inside" job.. I think you should work your way through your friends and family.. Yes, I said family... I had guns stolen by my Nephew one year...
 

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im sorry to hear about this, i hope your guns are found soon.i also agree that it sounds like someone who knew you or of you.
 

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Wow, that's a sobering story to read to say the least. You have my sincere condolences and I do hope that your firearms are recovered and the people responsible for this are caught. I would feel sick for months if this happened to me. :(
 

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Damn! :bawling:

My condolences to you & your wife. Heartbreaking for sure.

Hope they catch the bastards! And recover your firearms.
 

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Really sorry to hear about this. It sounds like these guys did target your
safe. Did you have any locals working in your house or yard?

I see you updated your alarm system. Did you have a functioning alarm
system, meaning all entry points were covered and you would be
notified if it went off?

Had a false alarm last week. ADT called me at work via cell and I asked
them to have the police respond. Took them over an hour to get to my
house.

Just a small bit of advice for those with alarm systems. If you can hide
the phone box outside your house that runs to the main phone service
it could help, making it a little harder for them to find and cut your
phone line.

Good Luck, I hope they find these guys and you get your property
returned in short order. Thanks for sharing what is obviously a very
difficult chapter in your life.
 

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That's a hard one to look at. I'm curious if you've talked with Citadel. I'm sure they could learn something here as well.
L.
 

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Good to go, a note on the phone line. Not sure how tough it would be at this point, but when we build new homes, ideally the phone line comes underground, up through the foundation wall, and the make-up box is inside the garage usually, rather than out. Phone company bitches about it, but that's how the security guys want to see it.
Good luck,
L.
 

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Wow. That took some work, and whoever did it very likely knew what they were doing. Smash-n-grab crackheads wouldn't have taken the time to do that.

I've never been there, thank God, but I've had tools and other things stolen...I hate thieves. My very sincerest condolences and I hope they catch these scumbags.
 
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