Handgun stolen from Elvis exhibit found in portable toilet

Published 4:47 pm Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A handgun owned by Elvis Presley that was stolen during last week’s commemoration of his death has been recovered after it was found by a man cleaning a portable toilet.

Surveillance video captured the theft on Aug. 14, showing a man reaching into a display case at the “Elvis After Dark” exhibit at Graceland and removing the rock ’n’ roller’s black 9 mm Smith and Wesson pistol.

On Monday, Travis Brookins turned the gun in to police after the theft was reported on the news.

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Brookins said he was cleaning the portable toilets behind the exhibit hall last Thursday when he found the gun in the muck. Unaware the weapon had been stolen, Brookins took it home and cleaned it.

“He called us and said he thinks he had the gun and brought it to us,” Memphis police Lt. Jerry Gwyn said.

Gwyn said he believes the thief, who has not been caught, may have accidentally dropped the gun into the toilet afterward.

“Of course, whoever dropped it wouldn’t go in there,” he said.

Tens of thousands of Elvis fans were in Memphis last week for various ceremonies marking the 30th anniversary of his death.

Presley was a well-known gun enthusiast and night owl, as the “Elvis After Dark” exhibit chronicles. Items on display include a television with a bullet hole in the screen, one of several items Graceland officials say Presley is known to have shot.