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  Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« on: October 16, 2008, 09:31:01 AM » by MSS Forum Admin
Please read Danny's shocking story:

ATTACK AND ROBBERY
Last Saturday, 11th October, 2008, I returned home after an afternoon spent at the Handaq Air Rifle Range.   It had been beautiful!!!  -  sunny and cool and I had ‘zeroed’ my scope to perfection!!!!
At 7pm I packed up to go home, saluted the two remaining members at the Range and at 7.30 I arrived home.
I parked the car in the garage, took hold of the air rifle in its carrying case, and was going to enter my home.
On reaching my front terrace, I noticed a very unusual sight.   A man in shorts and barefooted was hiding in the shade of my drive- in  -  immediately I knew that something unusual was about to happen and that this man was waiting for me!!
At the spur of the moment I decided not to enter in the shade of my drive-in but walked on past to the other side of the road.
The man ‘flew’ behind me, grabbed the case with rifle from the back, pulled me half the road with him, and when I was going to fall, I opened my hand and the rifle was snatched!   All I saw was the  barefooted man running  towards a getaway car, waiting some distance away with a driver in it!!!!!
All this took some 30 seconds!
I reported the matter to the Police and they gave the matter its due attention, with such great courtesy shown to me and my family that it had the much needed calming effect to a very traumatic ordeal!
All my life I had handled firearms to and from Shooting Ranges.   I have been a member of the Shooting Federation for the past 35 years, and nothing like this had ever happened before.
My Rifle and telescope and all accessories seem to have gone!  The anger remains. It seemed so easy for the robber, who had the advantage of youth and surprise, that it was like taking ‘candy from a baby’!!!!!
I write this to share my sadness for the loss of a treasured item and to alert others to the reality of this possibility!
Three days ago, I never even ever thought that such a thing could happen, now I know otherwise!
Danny Gatt
Tel 21492602

(Quoted from http://www.maltashootingsports.com/shootingtalk/index.php?topic=492.msg6162#msg6162)

The rifle is:
Air Arms S400 Classic .177 Serial No 035551
Light Walnut stock, Right Hand
High double bolt  Mounts
Scope Hawke Varmint  16 magnification x 44

Malta is a small country and without any doubt the perpetrators are not interested in the gun itself but will be trying to pass this on for cash, so if anyone ever hears about a rifle similar to the above being made available, obviously without any paperwork, then keep in mind and let Danny know. We have a number of firearms dealers who are members of this forum and they will also be advised, but it would be good to pass on the word to the others who are not.

Attached, please find a SAMPLE photo of what such a gun would look like, especially for those not into airguns.

Admin
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  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2008, 10:35:50 AM » by Quantumshot
To be honest I hope Danny had left it filled with 200Bar of pressure and that this low life that stole it mistakes it for a shotgun and tries to shorten its length with a hacksaw. 
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  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2008, 10:54:19 AM » by karbine
Very sorry to hear that  Sad my sister suffered a similar incident as she was leaving the house when her bag was snatched by four men wearing masks who passed by in a car (she was on the way to work at a foreign exchange) minutes after I had arrived home from the range, since that day I've always been very careful and suspicious about carrying equipment to and from the car.
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  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2008, 11:53:47 AM » by p3x795mt
It will be great news, Eric.

I am not the police but honestly I don't believe that the mugger is the one that has it, according to our friend Danny he saw somebody wearing just shorts and was barefooted. I never heard of any mugger that was barefooted or naked unless he would be a poor homeless individual, imagine someone that just robbed someone have to run off without a shoes. In our roads even one meter run will be painful. 

So I believe that he was as Danny described it but he was told/paid to do the condemned act by a perpetrator which I believe he was the described driver that probably know well the victim(Danny) enough that even waited in the victim's  residence area, it's was defiantly a planned robbery. It's easy to find someone starving for food or drugs these days and hide behind his face.

I really hope that this perpetrator will be captured and punished accordingly not set free to act again.

To be honest I hope Danny had left it filled with 200Bar of pressure and that this low life that stole it mistakes it for a shotgun and tries to shorten its length with a hacksaw. 
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  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2008, 12:25:12 PM » by RB
I would tend to believe that this was an opportunistic attack by some person/s after anything that could be used as drug money, and nothing pre-planned. Danny probably was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Here's why I think so:

The description of the aggressor. Rather desperate looking fellow, definitely no interest in airguns! Similarly no-one would really PLAN a theft of an airgun - two persons involved to steal something that is not legally saleable and no use other than for sport? If this was a shotgun I could imagine it's usefulness in crime, but an airgun?

Danny had been out of the house for a relatively long time. No one would have waited so long for his return and risk being spotted, and see above again re the likelyhood of anyone planning to steal an airgun...

The aggressor's actions were desperate, too. There was a high risk that the attack would not be successful, that Danny could have got the better of him, that the aggressor would be identified, and so forth.

The value of the stolen item. Two persons risking a lot for something that could, to them, be worth 100, maybe 150 euros each? (Not the true value is intended here but the value of such a "hot" item, evidently stolen, useless outside of a sporting application, and also eventually unusable without spending more money for diving cylinders, etc... highly unlikely scenario. Come to think of it maybe eventually Danny could go round dive shops letting them know about the incident, since eventually this gun WILL end up being taken to such a shop with enquiries about how to fill it up, etc - when it is sold on to some sucker.

I conclude that these guys were very, very desperate, driving around for an opportunity and seeing Danny's open garage they took a second look - to see him coming out of his car with what looked like a shotgun, which would have been a "good steal" and/or an investment for their future activities. In a way, thankfully it was not.

RB
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  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2008, 12:33:52 PM » by p3x795mt
It could had be done to make Danny suffer a great loss ! for a mugger "waiting" means MONEY FOR DRUGS or PAYMENT FOR ILLEGAL MONEY LENDING and for  a perpetrator means HATRED, SATISFACTION AND MONEY .

and although an airrifle it's not a legally resaleable item, it doesn't mean that a buyer can't be found or one can't do any thing with the type of rifle.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 12:41:49 PM by p3x795mt »
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  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2008, 18:20:11 PM » by Franco
Danny,

I used to live in New York and things like this happened all the time.  This happening in Malta is really worring.

Thanks for advising everyone.  We all need to keep this in mind and take extra care when transporting our firearms.  Hopefully this was a one off event but if these people were after something more powerful then an air rifle they might strike again.

Franco

« Last Edit: October 20, 2008, 00:13:05 AM by Franco »
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  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2008, 21:11:26 PM » by hb357
Like others, I was shocked at what happened to Danny, and hope for his rifle's eventual return.

However, all the theories aired as to what may have led to the robbery ignored one obvious fact - the perpetrators knew their victim (Danny) would be unarmed, as indeed we all are going to/coming from the range. This was one of the reasons why we clamoured to park inside the safi range, rather waiting outside.

Danny, I'm not sure what the purpose of writing to The Times was. I'm very much afraid that it could very well lead to copy cat acts of your theft.

To conclude, unless we want to be crime victims ourselves, the authorities should consider allowing us to be armed when going to the range, preferably also when going to a gun shop. Given the gossip level on the island, one can honestly say you never know who's watching you. I know that not everyone will appreciate this suggestion, but I'm sure that there those who secretly agree with me.

Given the money  we have spent to buy our equipment, I find little consollation in the Maltese saying "Ahjar hekk, inkellha ghar".
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  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2008, 15:10:00 PM » by H
My suggestion is to always stay safe and vigilant. Yes we could be targets of criminals, given the fact that we are an easy target for getting hold of a firearm. That is why we should all make sure that all firearms are always well secure.

Abide by the law and have the firearms always kept in a proper gun safe with ammo securely stored separately. Remember you are always responsible for the firearm registered in your name.

When travelling to the range or gunsmith with your firearm, always be vigilant. Firearms are placed in the boot, again with ammo separately in a locked box. Keep an eye on anyone following you, use your wits if in doubt. This also goes for carrying the gun from the car to your house. If in doubt, do not take the firearm out, but stay in the car. Drive off to somewhere safe, like near a police station or call someone. Try not to stick to a routine when going in and out with your firearm. Change your time and days when you go to the range. Most crimes are easily planned due to the fact that the victim has a predictable habitual routine. 

Of course if you are in a life threatening situation, do not be a hero, but look after yourself. Your life is more important than your gun.

Possibly what I mentioned is already practiced by a majority of you reading this,. We have an added responsibility when issued a firearm licence, so lets preserve this privilege.

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  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2008, 22:00:06 PM » by hb357
Change your time and days when you go to the range. Most crimes are easily planned due to the fact that the victim has a predictable habitual routine. 

Crodite,

Changing a routine is not always possible. Now that we are on the winter schedule, Saturdays are the only option for the majority of members. Changing the route one takes to the range/back home is also not always easy, especially since the introduction of one-way systems in our towns/villages.

Remember, the criminal always has the advantage over you. He will pick the place, method and time of attack. He will listen to careless gossip. An innocent remark from a neighbour like "Going shooting, are we?" is all that's needed to set the brain ticking.

Witnesses, if here are any, are also not likely to step forward,  for fear of retribution. Basically, therefore, we are on our own.
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  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2008, 00:00:26 AM » by max248
Yes unfortunatly we are on our own.But The most imortant thing for hand guns is not to use bags with Logos of firearms.I only use a common bag to go to the range.For the rifles that are more noticable ,i have to work that out.If any one have any ideas,share with us all .Max
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LIVE FREE OR DIE TRYING

  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2008, 07:05:01 AM » by erk063
Yes unfortunatly we are on our own.But The most imortant thing for hand guns is not to use bags with Logos of firearms.I only use a common bag to go to the range.For the rifles that are more noticeable,i have to work that out.If any one have any ideas,share with us all .Max

try a guitar case!!. or even better get a personal alarm on e-bay there are plenty and there quite cheap make sure you get one with over 140db and keep your ear protection on if you have to use it they are quit handy. they are the size of a key chain some even come with a strobe.
i would like to find out is pepper spray legal in Malta? i have seen a lot of police with it recently and just wanted to no if it is legal for civilians to carry. unfortunate i know that the law is there to protect the criminal but. . . . . .
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some things will never change . . . . . . .

  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2008, 08:05:53 AM » by H
Change your time and days when you go to the range. Most crimes are easily planned due to the fact that the victim has a predictable habitual routine. 

Crodite,

Changing a routine is not always possible. Now that we are on the winter schedule, Saturdays are the only option for the majority of members. Changing the route one takes to the range/back home is also not always easy, especially since the introduction of one-way systems in our towns/villages.

Remember, the criminal always has the advantage over you. He will pick the place, method and time of attack. He will listen to careless gossip. An innocent remark from a neighbour like "Going shooting, are we?" is all that's needed to set the brain ticking.

Witnesses, if here are any, are also not likely to step forward,  for fear of retribution. Basically, therefore, we are on our own.

HB, I understand that changing routines is not always possible. Most important is to be vigilant and aware of things around you. Your suggestion of running around armed is definitely not the solution. We are issued a firearm licence for target shooting and / or collecting and not for personal protection. One shooting incident from a licenced person and we can kiss our hobby and hard earned guns good bye. So lets not even think of threading in that direction.
One has to use discretion too. Hopefully this incident was a one off. If we stop and think, there are hunters with guns and airgun shooting has been around for some time too. Handguns are very easily to conceal, unless one is asking for it and tells everyone that he is going shooting and in the bag he is carrying he has a gun.

Being aware, vigilant and descrete will not harm. Smiley

Max248, regretfully pepper spray for civilians is illegal in Malta.
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  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2008, 12:06:45 PM » by max248
Cordite it wasnt me that asked about the pepper spray,it was that genius of erk063 Grin

« Last Edit: October 27, 2008, 15:27:00 PM by max248 »
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  Re: Stolen Air-Rifle - Please Read
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2008, 20:20:24 PM » by hb357
One shooting incident from a licenced person and we can kiss our hobby and hard earned guns good bye. So lets not even think of threading in that direction.

Cordite, accidents can happen anywhere, inculding the range itself. What then? As for being carefull, there is a limit to how vigilant you can be before you end up becoming paranoid. Since these words are being read on the internet, I do not wish to expand further on what prefautions one can take.

Max248 made a very valid point about not using bags with logos. Personally, I've always used an ordinary bag which I use for work. There is no real alternative to rifles. The safest option is if you have a garage as part of the house.

Finally, I don't know who you are Cordite, (perhaps one day we'll be introduced) but do not be offended if you need help on the street, and I walk on by. After all, my guns are safely stored - empty - in my safe. As requested by law!
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 (Read 8094 times) [1] 2
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