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In 1982, I was an Albuquerque Police Department (APD) recruit working with a training officer (TO). One day, we were dispatched to a hit-and-run crash. The victim had a description of the vehicle, a very distinctive description of the driver, and a license plate number. We ran the plate through the state Motor Vehicle Division, and it came back to the same make and model described by the victim, belonging to a Jimmie Joe L____.
We went to the address from the registration and found the vehicle in the driveway. It exactly matched the victim’s description and had damage consistent with the crash. The house, or I should say the property, was very strange. There was an eight-foot wooden fence around the entire border except the driveway. We walked past the vehicle and knocked on the gate, receiving no answer. As we were walking back down the drive, one of us looked into the vehicle and saw a revolver lying in plain sight on the front seat.
Both front windows were open, so one of us simply reached in and picked up the weapon. The gun was loaded, but the most distinctive thing about it was a strong chemical smell emanating from it. Neither I nor my TO recognized the smell at the time. We took the gun.