16 Shotguns Stolen From Cleaned-Out Gun Safe in Ohio

We can learn some lessons from this.

16 Shotguns Stolen From Cleaned-Out Gun Safe in Ohio

This news brief made us stop to think…The headline from The Marietta Times in Marietta, Ohio, read, “16 shotguns stolen from Newport Township home.” We got to wondering how this could happen. Were all 16 shotguns just lying around?

The news report raises more questions than it answers. It says that the homeowner, William Bayless (surprisingly, the article even gives an exact address for Bayless), reported that his residence had been broken into. He noted that he had left his home at approximately 2:15 pm and returned two hours later and noticed his rear outside door was open. It looked, to Bayless, as if someone had forced their way in, due to damage to the door jamb. He saw that his gun safe had been cleaned out and notified the police. It doesn’t say how his gun safe got broken into. It doesn’t say what kind of gun safe it was and if it was even locked in the first place.

A few thoughts crossed my mind…1, Was the gun safe not locked in the first place? If so, that’s serious negligence on the part of Bayless. 2, did Bayless share his gun safe combination with people he did not 100% trust? Again, maybe that’s a judgement call against Mr Bayless. 3, was it an insurance heist? Is it just coincidence that the gun safe got broken into during the 2 hours he had left his home?

I looked around for additional news reports and found one in which the sheriff speculates that the people who did this might have known Mr Bayless, since they cleaned him out in a short time.  “They may have known what they were looking for because this was in a short time span,” said Sheriff Larry Mincks. “It might have been something that they were planning or had been planning for some time and just were waiting for him to leave.”

According to the WTAP news report video, it looks like this is a rural area, so it’s possible that neighbors never saw a thing.

Here’s what I think Guns Today readers can learn from this. 1, Don’t tell people your gun safe combination. Assuming this is what happened, Bayless likely told his combination to someone he couldn’t entirely trust, and maybe didn’t know as well as he thought he did. This is sometimes hard to tell if you think you can trust someone, but be cautious.  If there’s no absolute reason for someone to know your gun safe combination, don’t tell them! 2, If you do need to tell someone, consider resetting the combination once the time has passed that they need to know. Sometimes just the idea of being able to get access to guns like this is tempting for people who are not 100% trustworthy.

3, Maybe people shouldn’t keep all of their guns in one single location. If Bayless had two or three gun safes, he might not have been subjected to the loss of this many weapons. 4, Never leave your gun safe unlocked. It might be tempting to do this out of convenience, but if people get the idea that you leave it unlocked, again, this could be too tempting. This all comes back to being really careful about who you tell about your guns or who you let into your home to show them too.

Sheriff Mincks says the guns will most likely be sold.  Anyone with tips or information is encouraged to call the Washington County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Department at (740) 376-7070.

Image from WTAP news video.