Lost Sniper Rifle

Feb 04, 2019
This happened a few years ago now so the details are a little hazy, but this is a true account.

We had ordered in a custom B&T Ag sniper rifle with accessories from B&T in Switzerland. She was shipped air freight and was eventually cleared by our customs broker in Winnipeg. The rifle was in a large hard case which in turn was in a cardboard box and this was added to a pallet of other freight and shipped by road to us. The problem was she never arrived. We signed for one skid with X number of packages and that is what we had. We quickly raised a complaint with the shipper, we received the usual run-around, no one was really bothered - just fill out a claim form. This is the normal reaction from people who have not worked with us before, so time to up the anti!

I informed them that the missing package, that had not been delivered to us, or signed for by us, contained a “SNIPER RIFLE” and if by noon I had not received a satisfactory explanation of what had happened I would be calling the RCMP, CBSA, Winnipeg Police, Brandon Police, CFC and NWEST. I listed every organization that I could think of and it had the desired effect, everyone moved into top gear. The rifle disappearance remained a mystery, she had been loaded in to a semi trailer in Winnipeg and there was no record of her being unloaded. She had simply disappeared!

The following week we had a visit from a member of NWEST accompanied by a Brandon Police officer. This was rather entertaining as the Police Officer only had eyes for one of my employees’ much to everyone’s amusement. NWEST asked to view the surveillance camera footage taken in our receiving room. It showed the pallet placed in the room by our forklift, NWEST pounced on the fact that a box on top of the load matched the description of the missing rifle box complete with a bright red label, although nothing was clear enough to read. My wife Pat, pointed out that actually that was a box from ArmaLite and the box was still standing in the corner of the shipping room. NWEST and the Police officer both left a little disappointed, but for different reasons!

Eventually after a few weeks we had to resign ourselves to the fact that the rifle was indeed “Lost” . We had a very upset customer we had to console and we placed a new order to B&T for another rifle. We notified the RCMP to amend their records to show a missing, believed to be stolen rifle, serial # xxxxxxxx.

I think it must of been at least two months before we got a call from a local Agricultural dealer who operated in Virden, they had a box for us, could they drop it off? I spoke to them, yes they had a box for us? Why, where had it come from? They replied that they had just found it and yes it was about 6 ft x 3 ft x 1 ft. I told them: Keep it there I am on my way.

Sure enough it was the “Lost” sniper rifle! Where was it all this while? Outside in the yard on a pallet I was told. Now the conversation got lively when I told them what was in it... "dam it I knew we should have kept it" was one comment. I said seriously, where was it? They proceeded to tell me the following. They had a pallet with a large coil of air seeder pipe delivered. The coil was flat on the pallet and about the diameter of the pallet and 6 ft tall with a space in the middle. This coil of pipe was banded down to the pallet. As they didn’t need it in the work shop immediately, the pallet was just dumped in the yard by the shop, after all who would bother to steal a pallet of pipe.

So for two months a very expensive sniper rifle sat in a coil of pipe on a pallet only 200 meters from the No. 1 TransCanada highway and fully visible, in fact from the elevated position on the highway the end of the box may even had been visible.

What we think happened is that as the rifle was also addressed to us the box was placed on top of our pallet of assorted goods, this was next to the pallet of pipe that was also about the same height. Sometime during the three hour journey from Winnipeg to Virden our sniper rifle box bounced off of our pallet and fell into the middle of the coil of pipe, disappearing from sight.

I guess the lesson to be learned from this is that the best form of security is to be discreet. No one knew a very valuable sniper rifle was sitting in a box unsecured near the highway for approx. two months so she was quite safe!

Keep your powder dry,
Mr Wolverine

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