Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Rose Post
Salisbury Post
On Jan. 8, 1984, someone broke open the front door of Deputy Morris Olive’s mobile home in Faith while he was out to dinner.
Gone were a .38-calibre Ruger revolver, a gun belt, one holster, one set of handcuffs, one handcuff holder, one bullet holder and 12 bullets.
More than 23 years later ó last Sunday ó Olive learned that New York authorities have recovered the gun and even one of the bullets.
Lt. Neal Goodman stopped by his house to tell him.
“I was quite surprised,” Olive said. “I had often prayed that no one used it, that nobody got hurt with it. I looked at the pictures and wonder what happened to it, and where was it.”
Authorities traced the gun to Olive through the serial number, which a young officer had written on the report when the gun was stolen ó Detective George Wilhelm.
Now Wilhelm is sheriff, and Olive’s looking forward to getting the gun back.
“It’s probably 30 or 40 years old, and it would last a lifetime if the person took care of it, kept it clean and it was not all rusted up.”
Olive worked for the Sheriff’s Office from 1976 until he retired in 2004, including several years as a special deputy at the Rowan Public Library.
He retired to take care of his wife, Karen, after she had a massive stroke.
“I never even had an inkling that the gun would ever be found,” Olive said.
He doesn’t know many details about how it was found, but guesses some criminal had it when he was arrested ó “and we don’t know for what.”
Rowan authorities faxed his phone number to New York so investigators there could call him to talk about the gun, he said.
“If it wasn’t used in a capital crime or something, it’s very possible I could get it back. I would hope to get it back.”
Contact Rose Post at 704-797-4251 or