Friday, December 15, 2017
Public safety

Video shows more than 40 weapons being stolen in smash-and-grab at Tampa gun store

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating a brazen smash-and-grab burglary at a gun store early Tuesday.

The suspects used a truck or SUV to smash the glass facade of the Tampa Arms Company, 4023 W Waters Ave., and stole more than 40 guns from a display wall and cabinets, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cristal Bermudez. The store is in the Northwest Plaza about a half mile west of North Dale Mabry Highway.

The Sheriff's Office released a five-minute surveillance video showing as many as a dozen people wearing similar hooded sweatshirts moving quickly around the inside of the store.

Tampa Arms Co. co-owner Richard Smith said at the scene that the stolen inventory includes Glock handguns, shotguns and AR-15 assault-style rifles.

Photos on the store's Facebook page show an interior brick wall of the store lined with rifles and handguns. Tuesday morning, the same wall was bare and the inside of the store was trashed.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the National Shooting Sports Foundation are offering a combined reward of $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. To report a tip, call the ATF at (800) 283-4867, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200, or use the mobile application at reportit.com.

The burglary marks at least the third time in the last 13 months that a gun store in the Tampa Bay are has been targeted.

In October 2015, thieves smashed through an exterior concrete wall to at Shooting Sports on North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa and stole 42 handguns. Four brothers were arrested and charged in connection with the burglary.

Last March, burglars broke through the wall of the Grey Wolf Armory, located in a shopping plaza at Eiland Boulevard and State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel, and made off with an arsenal: 30 handguns, two rifles and a sniper rifle, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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