An Elvis fan went too far in the quest for memorabilia during Elvis Week festivities at Graceland. Someone broke into a glass display case at the Elvis After Dark Exhibit last week and stole a gun belonging to the King of Rock and Roll.
The Smith and Wesson handgun was valued at $30,000, a police report said. According to the report, the thief was seen on surveillance video shaking the case before removing the glass and walking away with the gun. The report said the theft happened Tuesday August 14, 2007 around midnight but wasn't noticed by exhibit officials until Friday August 17th. Police collected the surveillance video and blood evidence left on the display case to use as evidence in the investigation.
Officials with Elvis Presley Enterprises had no comment about the theft.
Update August 21:
Elvis Presley's black 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol was removed by a man from a display case at the "Elvis after Dark" museum. The man, wearing goofy sunglasses atop his head, just reached into the case and took the black 9 mm Smith and Wesson.
But, by pure luck, the gun was recovered and turned in to police Monday. Seems one Travis Brookins was cleaning the portable toilets behind the Elvis After Dark museum last Thursday when he found what he thought was a toy gun, dropped into that horrendous muck.
He took the piece home, cleaned it up and probably didn't think much else about it until news reports surfaced Monday.
"He called us and said he thinks he had the gun and brought it to us," Memphis police Lt. Jerry Gwyn said. Turns out it was the same gun, police said, smelling a little better. It's now in their property room.
Surveillance video shows the thief -- wearing extra-long shorts and a camouflage T-shirt -- pushing open the glass case and snaking an arm in to snag the gun.
At some point, he must have stopped by the toilet on the way out, a decision perhaps sparked by adrenaline.
And that's when police believe he got fumbly fingers.
"It's a good possibility who ever took it accidentally dropped it in there," Gwyn said. "Of course, whoever dropped it wouldn't go in there."
The thief is still on the run, and police wonder if he's even from around here.
As anyone who's toured Graceland knows, the King was a fan of guns, even setting up a shooting gallery behind the house.
The folks at Graceland weren't saying much Monday, perhaps over embarrassment at the ease of the theft.
Update August 22
You can watch the video of the stealing of the gun from the security tapes.
Gun Stolen From Elvis Exhibit - Updated 2August 22, 2007 | Other Source:Various
Jerome wrote on August 20, 2007
is the gun loaded?
Elvisnites wrote on August 20, 2007
Maybe they should use it on themself. What a crude.
efan4ever wrote on August 21, 2007
I hope they catch the low life bum and beat him severely. I am not pro violence but when you take something that is on display for our viewing pleasure, you cross the line. If it did not belong to Elvis I would not care but it does so it calls for a beating.
Steve V wrote on August 21, 2007
efan4ever- your post (If it did not belong to Elvis I would not care but it does so it calls for a beating) So it would be ok to steal it if it belonged to someone else?
Getlow wrote on August 21, 2007
I was at the After Dark Exhibit yesterday and the gun I saw missing was the 'colt'? that he gave to Nixon, I saw that there last week. It was the only gun I saw on display there, on loan in fact from the Nixon Libary...
efan4ever wrote on August 21, 2007
Did you read that in my writing. No! Stealing is stealing. It is wrong. Thou Shall not steal. If it was stolen from someone else I would not care but it would still be theft, which I do not condone.
Ton Bruins wrote on August 21, 2007
I was there this week but I didn't steal it...I guess....
Crawfish wrote on August 21, 2007
What is wrong with these people; they cannot be true fans! We all would love to own certain things but we are content to share with our fellow Elvis fans and enjoy the moment. I was a few people behind a couple going through the Jungle Room and who started to pull the green threads from the wall (doubtless already on e-bay!). It just makes my blood boil - although I think the worst was the theft of Elvis' bible in the chapel in Tupelo! If you are any of these people and you have any conscience at all then for Gods sake return them... anonomously if you are that spineless!! None of these things are yours for the taking and who the hell do you think you are to have the right to! Sorry for going on the rest of you; I just hope they find the culprits. Won't be long before we won't be able to get near things because of these idiots!
hounddawgs6499 wrote on August 21, 2007
Great news! According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal site, the gun was found - in one of the portable toilets nearby the museum.
email@example.com wrote on August 21, 2007
How could it be that easy to walk out of the museum with a gun? I would have thought that the cases would be more solid and that they would have sensors and sound an alarm. During one of my visits to Graceland I couldn't resist the urge to twist the throttle on one of the Harley's in the Auto Museum and as soon as my hand hit the bike an alarm went off and a security guard appeared out of nowhere. I blamed it on my buddy... Anyway - I hope that this does not motivate other people to try to get away with something. Enough people stole Elvis' stuff in the days/months after his death.
tk10 wrote on August 21, 2007
lot of nerve do they think we still believe the toilet story 30 yrs later again? hope it wasnt a gun in the babys crib? lol paul terry king
Maybellene wrote on August 22, 2007
I wonder why do people want to steal something like that, whats the pleasure in having something that is one in the world? Imagine Elvis making all his records just for private! It should be available to public eyes, to all whoever want to see this, not one egoistic fan/collector.It has historical value.That's why noone can buy "Mona Lisa" painting!
efan4ever wrote on August 22, 2007
They should give that nice man a reward. Because he could have kept it. EPE needs to get their act together. People are still using their flashses on cameras. They meaning people taking the tour of the mansion are able to touch way too much stuff. Better security on the property is what I am calling for.
Jerome wrote on August 22, 2007
bring the gun back you son of a b*tch, uh son of a gun!!!
Elvisnites wrote on August 23, 2007
Thanks Jerome, you just gave me my first laugh of the day.
Mark S. wrote on August 23, 2007
"The man, wearing goofy sunglasses"...I bet he bought those at the Graceland giftshop!
efan4ever wrote on August 23, 2007
When are the police going to return the gun to its rightful l owner.