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Thief returns four stolen guns

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MINERAL, Va. (WTVR)--In nearly three decades of police work, Major Donnie Lowe says it’s only happened once: stolen weapons returned to their rightful owner.

They were dropped at the foot of the victim’s driveway in a black bag.  Did the crooks conscience take over?  The gun owner has  a detailed message for the thief, if he returns

John Koss has endured some bumps in the road in his lifetime.

"The house we had was hit with the earthquake and was unlivable," said Koss.  You might have guessed he’s from Mineral, and has been there, done that.  "Then we moved to Bumpass, then here."

The newest detour in life though, has him wondering if he's being targeted. "They were sloppy, definitely,” he said. “They had to know we were gone."

Deputies say Friday, between the hours of ten in the morning and two in the afternoon, someone smashed a window panel out of the back door of Koss's rental home in Mineral and stole money, video game consoles and five guns.

“Especially in rural areas where there's no subdivisions or neighbors,  it can happen," he said.

But what has deputies scratching their heads, is that four guns were returned just three days later.

“They brought back every gun except the pistol,” Koss said.  “They set them at the end of the driveway like, ‘Oh my god, we're scared!’"

"I've only seen it done one other time in my 26-year career," said Lowe.  He said deputies were working on several leads and have a few theories.  "You can't rule out that maybe they couldn't get ammo for them," he said.

While deputies investigate, Koss has a warning of his own.  He's posted it on the smashed-out pane, letting crooks know he knows how to use the guns that were given back.  “Come on back,” he said.  “But God help them if they do come back."

Lowe says since last fall there's been a rash of daytime break-ins in the area.  He’s asking gun owners to lock their weapons and ammo up in heavy-duty safes and, if possible, have someone check on their homes throughout the day.