Stolen WWII rifle returns to Madison 46 years later

A WWII-era German Mauser was stolen 46 years ago and police are now working on returning it to the family. (Source: MPD)
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Good record maintenance is being credited for the return of gun stolen in Madison 46 years ago.

Madison police said a 41-year-old deer hunter reported his rifle was stolen from his truck on Baldwin Street in 1973. He said he left the gun, a World War II era German Mauser, under a blanket in the truck’s bed.

“Official police reports of the Mauser theft have been maintained for decades at the MPD, even though the case had been long since cold,” said MPD spokesman Joel DeSpain. “And, there's good reason for keeping good records.”

On Jan. 28, a police detective from Circleville Ohio said someone had turned in a German Mauser and the serial number revealed it was stolen in Madison. The gun was shipped and is now back in Madison.

DeSpain said the gun’s owner passed away in 1998, but his children are alive and are being contacted.