Crime & Courts

Stolen Lincoln County shotgun recovered 27 years later

Roy and Martha Sites called the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office to report that two firearms had been stolen from their home in the Denver community.

That was 27 years ago. On Tuesday, law enforcement officials returned one of the guns to the couple.

Investigators with the sheriff’s office said a Remington 1100 shotgun recovered last Friday at a Gaston County pawn shop belonged to the Sites. Authorities said the gun was identified through its registration number.

The theft took place June 24, 1987. The two guns and other items were stolen from the residence on Windsong Road. Investigators said two possible suspects were identified, but no arrests were ever made.

“Two important things occurred, with the victim being able to provide a serial and model number for the shotgun, and the officer filing a very complete report,” said Lt. Tim Johnson of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

There is another interesting aspect of the story. The deputy who handled the theft 27 years ago was a rookie with only two months’ experience – David Carpenter, who is now the Lincoln County sheriff.

Carpenter met with Roy and Martha Sites on Tuesday when they came to the sheriff’s office to pick up the shotgun. Investigators said the couple told authorities they never expected to see the firearm again.