In East Boston, police came for the stolen MacBook, stayed for the illegal weapons

Seized weapons. Photo by BPD.Seized weapons. Photo by BPD.

Boston Police report officers who followed the plaintive pings of a stolen MacBook to a repair shop on Meridian Street last week found a cache of weaponry in the pickup truck of the guy who'd allegedly brought the laptop in.

Peter Hilliard, 48, of Halifax, now faces a magazine's worth of charges related to the guns, which include a Bushmaster rifle and a Sig Sauer pistol, police say. A judge in East Boston District Court set bail at $50,000.

Police say Hilliard stole the laptop in a housebreak somewhere outside of Boston, then brought it to a wireless store at 247 Meridian St. Police say thanks to the tracking software on the laptop, officers were waiting when Hilliard returned to pick the computer up. They then got a search warrant for his pickup.

Innocent, etc.



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Sheer stupidity

Still the best means of gun control. Nice job stealing somebody's laptop, nitwit. Maybe you have a reason in your mind for having the guns, such as owing money to the wrong people and not having the cash. Maybe that's why you took the computer. But for Chrissakes, idiot, people can track computers. Enjoy getting gunned down now that you can't defend yourself.

really? because i'm pretty

really? because i'm pretty sure that weaker gun laws basically allowed those shooters. sure lets use more guns to defend ourselves...oh wait, crazy guy can defend himself too? ok he'll prob just go on a rampage oh well..


Those guns are probably

Those guns are probably stolen too. That little batch would cost at least $5K new at a gun store, more if the G3 (or Cetme) and AR are Mass legal. Doubtful that a guy that can afford that kind of hardware would be stealing shitty computers. Scary that this dirtbag would be driving around with this stuff - that G3 especially could do some serious damage (the .223 round in the AR is like a BB gun compared to the .308 in the G3).

Hopefully the rightful owner of these will get them back instead of getting destroyed by BPD - some nice hardware there.

the odd-looking pistol on the left

The pistol on the far left looks kind of odd, so I researched it a little. It's a Sauer M1913, designed in Germany just before WWI (as its model number would imply) and used by Germany's military and police forces in and between both world wars. My guess would be that it's a captured GI war trophy. Might be worth a bit of coin if it has the original capture papers with it as well as a clear provenance. I hope its rightful owner gets that back too. It'd be sad for that bit of history to be destroyed, especially if it was stolen from the family of the service member who captured it.

If the guns were stolen, doesn't that mean something was wrong?

The premise above seems to be that the guns were stolen from someone who lawfully owned them, and there seems to be a feeling that their rightful owner should get them back and not be hassled by the BPD or some other authority.

Just out of curiosity, and without meaning to be trite or snarky, it seems to me that guns, if being controlled in a prudent manner by a responsible owner (putting aside, for the moment what the law does or does not require), should almost never be stolen because they will be effectively secured against unauthorized possession or use. If these guns were in fact stolen, doesn't that suggest that they were not being controlled by the rightful owner in a prudent manner?

Obviously, if they were not being controlled in a manner prescribed by law, that becomes a police matter, but that aside, isn't the real question whether, if these guns were stolen, should they even have been susceptible to theft in the first place?

The analogy is beyond inapposite.

Your analogy between stealing a locked car and stealing weapons such as those described is so ridiculous as to be beyond inapposite - it's inappropriate.

Look, I presumed that people who owned guns like these, whom I am always told are responsible gun owners, kept guns such as these in a safe large enough to hold them (assembled), which would also be too heavy and large for a thief to steal. These comments indicate that even though I would do precisely that to prevent their theft to the maximum extent possible if I owned such weapons, apparently that is not the norm. I think this is a matter that will likely be brought into sharp focus given how the weapons used in Newtown seem to have been obtained.

Even though it is ridiculous to do so, I will use the logic of your analogy because I cannot even fathom how that makes sense to you or anyone else. By that logic, if the army did not effectively secure some of its weapons and ammunition against theft in a prudent manner and they were stolen, the government would be the victim.

No one would make that claim with a straight face. Can you imagine the response to an officer or politician saying that? On the contrary, what would actually happen is that the government would be successfully sued for gross negligence by every single person who was later harmed by those weapons, and courts-martial would ensue for every person involved for the failure properly secure them.

Au contraire

It's entirely appropriate. Suppose someone steals your car and uses it to commit vehicular mayhem, by driving it into a crowd of pedestrians. By your logic, you are responsible for those deaths, because you, as a responsible car owner, failed to secure your car adequately.


I thought that you might say that.

I thought that you might say that.

First, there are indeed circumstances under which the facts you recite could lead to liability for me, but it gets to other points and situations too far removed from the main point to be discussed here.

The reason that this argument fails (notice that I didn't ascribe the argument to you - it's a well-trodden NRA talking point) is because the law and logic assign higher duties of care to persons choosing to possess inherently dangerous things. Guns are, as a matter of law and logic inherently dangerous things, and as much as people want to say that kitchen knives, cars, footballs, nerf footballs and styrofoam peanuts can all be just as dangerous as guns if misused, our society has taken the (settled) position that they simply are not. Hence, the duty of care with respect to those items is lower.

It is for the same reason that a person storing 5000 gallons of water is subject to fewer (if any) regulations than someone storing 5000 gallons of benzene.

You also conspicuously ignored my point about the army failing to secure its weapons. Is it the victim if they are stolen and later used to commit crimes? Is the U.S. government the victim because some of its "Fast and Furious" guns were stolen, or is the victim of that negligence Agent Terry who was killed by them?

Roughly the same number of

Roughly the same number of people are killed by firearms and cars every year in the U.S. Which is, I strongly suspect, rather more than the number killed by styrofoam packing peanuts.

I'm pretty sure to be on the same roads as a driver who doesn't think of a car as a dangerous thing.


Good question

Credit due for a non snarky conversation point.

Legal and legally-stored guns are frequently stolen (usually in house breaks) despite correct precautions by owners. Guns need to be secured, but gun safes and guns with trigger locks can be stolen in a break in and easily cracked. It's a misconception that they need to be unsteal-able. But you are right that guns stolen from irresponsible owners (read: glove compartments) and then denied as such are a problem.

And yes, that car load of dangerousness was an expensive collection for an idiot to have. Alleged idiot.

Locks are just a deterrent

"Locks just keep honest people honest," as they say. If someone wants what you have badly enough, they *will* take it. Locks, safes, whatever, just make things more difficult, hopefully difficult enough that the thief who wants to steal a firearm will bother the house down the street where the owner didn't take the elaborate measures you did, or that a thief who happened to break into your house to steal whatever he could find leaves the guns in the locked safe and settles for stealing the big-screen TV, the silverware, and the jewelry.