ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – Thieves have made off with a rare tommy gun from a historic New Mexico courthouse.
It was news that Lincoln County Sheriff, Robert Sheppard, did not want to hear. “It’s a piece of Lincoln County’s history that we have now lost,” said Shepperd.
The piece of history was a 1921 Thompson Navy Submachine gun or tommy gun. It was donated to the sheriff’s office in the 1930’s and kept at the historic Lincoln County Courthouse.
The gun belonged to a deputy killed about 50 miles away in Corona back in 1933.
“It was donated to the sheriff’s office because they felt, the citizens at that time, felt that the deputies were out gunned and need more fire power,” said Shepperd.
The tommy gun was on display in the Lincoln County Courthouse for a few years until it was stolen Thursday around 5:00 in the morning.
The gun was displayed inside the museum when thieves broke in through the Plexiglas case and took off. They got into the courthouse by breaking a window in the back. The gun case and a clip were left behind.
State police are investigating the theft. The gun is fully functional and uses a fairly common type of bullet, creating a bigger the concern.
“Who knows what intent the individual that took it has,” said Shepperd.
Officials say it is worth a lot. “Just because of the age and the type of gun it is, this gun has a lot of value and a lot of type of historical and sentimental value to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s office,” said Shepperd.
People in the historic town want the gun back.
“That’s the whole point , is to hang on to history and to lose a part of that, that’s really sad. I just hope that it’s found,” said Denise Lowe, Lincoln resident.
Sherriff Shepperd says a reward will be offered for information leading to the thief.