INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Surveillance video from Gander Mountain where 11 guns were stolen earlier this month was released on Wednesday by the ATF.
The burglary happened July 19 around 3 a.m. at the Castleton Gander Mountain store.
“It was quick,” said Patrick Hand, an ATF agent. “They were in and out we estimate in less than two minutes.”
Officials said at least four suspects drove through an overhead door to gain access to the store. ATF agents said they stole nine AR-15 rifles, and two hand guns.
“It’s our belief that they knew what they were going after. And where it was,” said Hand.
Hand said there’s been an increase in gun shop thefts around the country. He said against the agency’s recommendation, the guns weren’t locked up. Nor were they behind protective glass.
“Here locally we have taken the proactive step in reaching out to licensed gun dealers, and making them aware of that uptick and asking them to secure their firearms overnight. Again, its just a recommendation that we can make.
Hand said the ATF isn’t able to require gun shop owners to follow their recommendations.
But at Wide Open Arms Gun Shop, they have.
“Luckily we’ve only had that one issue and haven’t had any problems since,” said Ryan Pollom, the owner Wide Open Arms.
The southside gun shop was robbed in a similar smash and grab in September of 2014. They now lock up their guns at night.
“Locking the guns up in a safe takes away that time-frame for them to make a quick and easy entry and exit,” said Pollom.
In Lawrence, KS & E Gun Shop is going a step beyond the recommendation. They not only lock up the guns at night, but during the day they lock an exterior gate on the front door. They were held up in an armed robber in November 2015.
The ATF said the risk is too high to have stolen weapons on the streets.
“The concern is that they’ll be used against the public, be used against law enforcement officers, that they’re out on the streets,” said Hand.
A spokesman for Gander Mountain refused to comment on whether they would follow the ATF’s recommendation. They said they’re still treating this an an ongoing law-enforcement matter.
The ATF is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people involved. The National Shooting Sports Foundation or the NSSF will match the reward, for a total reward of $10,000.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477 or ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS.