Breaux, from Kaplan, reported his .22-caliber Ruger pistol stolen to the Kaplan police on July 11, 1980. The pistol was under the seat of his truck because he was a farmer. While at the Kaplan hospital, someone took the gun.
Never thinking he would get it back, Breaux purchased a new one exactly like the one that was stolen weeks later.
This past January the Abbeville police arrested Arnest L. Guidry for discharging a firearm in the city. Guidry had the .22-caliber and a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol with him.
The police did a background check on each gun and learned that the .22 caliber was registered under Breaux’s name.
While in Mississippi this past January Breaux received a phone call from the Abbeville police saying they had located a gun registered to him. The police called him because they wanted to know how the gun could have ended up in the hands of Guidry. Breaux told the police the gun was stolen in 1980.
“I was surprised to hear from them,” Breaux said.
Breaux went to the Kaplan police department and on file, 28 years later, was the report he filled out in 1980, along with the serial number of the gun on it.
Abbeville Detective R.J. Thibodeaux said had it not been for the serial number on the police report, Breaux would not have been given the gun back.
But before Breaux walked out of the station with the gun, it had to be first sent to the Acadiana Crime Lab in New Iberia. The crime lab had to make sure the gun was never used in a crime. That took seven months. The gun was returned to the city police last week and Breaux picked it up on Monday.
He examined it and noticed the barrel had rust on it. “I can clean this off,” he said. “I’ll go home and clean it.”
Thibodeaux said that 22-caliber gun has been floating around the parish for 28 years.
“There is no telling how many hands the gun went through,” Thibodeaux said.