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25 of the most unusual stolen items cops have recovered

You never know what you’re going to find while on duty; here’s a roundup of the most unusual stolen items officers have recovered throughout their careers

Photo by Doug Conner.jpg

Stolen items recovered from a burglary suspect.

Photo/Doug Conner, Police1 Facebook Fan

By Police1 Staff

In the words of Forrest Gump, “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

The same rings true for police officers – and this roundup proves there is truly never a dull moment in policing. We asked Police1 readers to share the most unusual stolen items they have recovered on the job, and their responses ranged from strange to even stranger. Don’t believe us? Check out the responses below.

If we missed yours or you didn’t get a chance to share your most unusual recovered stolen item, share it with us in the box at the end of the article.

  1. “Had a guy jump onto the tarmac of the airport and attempted to steal a training jet that belonged to the Air Force. Funny thing was when we called the Air Force base the pilot was from and asked what they wanted done, they responded back with, ‘We don’t know. We’ve never had a guy try to steal a jet from us before.’” – Jerred Stritt
  2. “Recovered church possessions including the Eucharist plate with the communion wafers and the thurible. The ashes from the thurible got all over the Communion wafers and the priest had to write a letter to the Pope to get permission to throw away the wafers as they are only supposed to be consumed not thrown away. The theft and recover happened the Saturday night before Easter Sunday.” – Nick Vincent
  3. “I got called to a lady upset that the neighbor’s dog stole her dog’s bone out of the yard. Luckily, I was able to recover the bone hardly chewed and returned it to the rightful owner!” – Steve Mize
  4. “A guy wanted to report that his bag of crack was stolen. He took me to the guy he said stole it. The ‘suspect’ produced the bag and showed it to me. He said he didn’t steal it, but rather the ‘complainant’ gave it to him to sell. That was confirmed by the complainant. Both were arrested.” – Kraig Kirves
  5. “In 1983, a ‘vintage’ hand grenade recovered from a deceased veteran’s house. Instead of doing what should have been done with it, it was believed to be a dud and the sergeant kept it in his locker. Much conversation about said item occurred over the years. I believe the sergeant retired in 1986 or 1987. For old time’s sake, he pulled the pin and tossed it in the lake – again, after much discussion. Yes, it went off. Probably not as it would of when created, but definitely would have remodeled the locker room.” – Thomas Bozza
  6. “A stolen World Series ring.” – Rip Dutton
  7. “Trailer of brass plates from a cemetery.” – Dalton Francis Jr.
  8. “I recovered a stolen car that was just stolen from the first thief.” – Duren Robertson
  9. “A woman with a newborn baby, carrying a Ziplock bag with a placenta in it, trying to cross the border.” – Perry Mahan
  10. “A stuffed indigo cobra.” – Chris Mitchell
  11. “This guy hired a prostitute and refused to pay her afterwards. Well, she took his artificial leg in payment. He called us and, after about an hour, we tracked her down, recovered the leg and all was forgiven.” – Pat Good
  12. “A laser designator used to guide smart bombs.” – Walter van Oosbree
  13. “A helicopter. It actually got off the ground, but luckily the company had it chained.” – Chuck Robert
  14. “A 12-foot kayak.” – Neal Jasper
  15. “An 88 mm mortar round hidden in the ceiling of a barracks.” – Bill Abel
  16. ” I recovered an urn containing human remains of a murder victim.” – Donald J Blasingame
  17. “A voodoo shrine with a real human skull in a cast iron pot.” – Michael Rogers
  18. “A human body stolen from a biology lab out on a beach towel at a pond.” – Michael Riner
  19. “A case of old dynamite in a storage unit during a search warrant.” – Frank Davidson
  20. “A gravestone.” – Bill Soper
  21. “A 1967 Ford Falcon. When the owners arrived to pick up their car, they couldn’t believe it. The car had the dents removed and repainted. The upholstery was redone; chrome parts on the engine. Someone put money into the car after they stole it.” – Marty Harkins
  22. “A WWII Luger.” – Jack Owalte
  23. “It wasn’t reported stolen, but we recovered a M60 machine gun in a vacant apartment. There was also some DEA gear with it.” – Dave Lafferty
  24. “Polo ponies.” – George Carrithers
  25. “Porta potty from a construction site.” – Andy New


  • A Santa Claus urn with ashes and a note. The note stated that Aunt Fran was placed in the Santa cookie jar because she loved Christmas. The letter also stated that Aunt Fran was left in the police lobby because they had to move and Aunt Fran loved our city too much to leave.
  • On patrol one night I saw something sticking up out of the bed of the pickup in front of me. Investigation revealed that it was the hand of an 8-foot-tall statue of “Yogi Bear” laying on its side. The young male suspects returned the item to the rightful owners with an apology.

  • We recovered thousands of keys from a suspect’s home. So many that we weighed them instead of attempting to count. When questioned, the suspect stated he probably should have become a locksmith.

  • While taking a burglary/theft report at a victim’s residence, I located and recovered a stereo speaker from another burglary. The unusual part was the speaker was mine and had been stolen from my wife’s office several months prior!

  • Many years ago, I was working for a city police department in the juvenile division. Myself and a detective from the local sheriff’s office were looking for some juveniles that had burglarized a mausoleum where a local prostitute had been laid to rest. When we caught them, they had already hidden their spoils from the burglary. We located the skull of the prostitute hidden in an abandoned dog house located at one of the juveniles’ residences.

  • I took a report from a resident that someone had stolen his Oreo cookies. He stated someone was breaking into his house and eating his cookies at night while he was asleep. He said he keeps the doors and windows locked and didn’t know how they were getting in. I suggested maybe he had a mouse. It made David Letterman’s top 10.

  • I found two guys illegally trying to collect venomous reptiles in a closed area. I had them set their backpacks on the trunk of their car while I inquired if they had found any. After several denials of finding any reptiles, one of the backpacks stared moving. They were right, they hadn’t found any venomous reptiles. They had an alive great horned owl. My eyes were as big as the owl’s when I opened the backpack ... it jumped out and started hopping around the parking lot!

  • I recovered a stolen car. The owner was in jail and an acquaintance knew he was in jail, broke into the car and stole it. He drove it up to Fargo, N.D. There, the brakes went out and he spent his own money to fix them (showed me the receipt). Then drove it back to one town over from where it was stolen. He couldn’t understand what the problem was. The receipt was great evidence of possession stolen vehicle.

  • During scene photographs on a DV, I noticed an object poking out from behind a box that looked like a gun barrel. Turned out the soldier had stolen the barrel from an Apache helicopter at his previous base. The US Army wouldn’t come get it so it’s in our evidence unit now.

NEXT: 10 strange places cops have found guns

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The suspect ran across the freeway and hid inside the porta-potty; a golfer pushed it over to trap him inside
The man called the police and told them to meet him at the mall; he also said there were bombs in the car
The teen was charged with malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and was taken into juvenile detention
Officers from multiple departments were able to surround and stop the suspected thief, who told them he was signaling that they weren’t supposed to pursue him