Breaking News
More () »

After a string of gun store robberies, law enforcement weighs in on catching culprits

Investigators say thieves are targeting gun stores around the Piedmont.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Gun shops around the Triad are tightening security after several break-ins took place across several cities.

Some suspects have been arrested while others are still on the loose.

Surveillance video shows a smash-and-grab for guns at a gun and pawn shop in Lexington Sunday. The suspects went as far as ramming a car into the building just to break inside.

The owner, Mark Richardson is still cleaning up while police search for the thieves.

"I owned M&T‘s Pawn and Gun Shop on the other side of town and we were broken into there but we’ve never had a car run through as they did here," Richardson said.

Sergeant R.D. Seals with the Guilford County Sheriff's Office said it's unclear what's behind the uptick.

"It's a sporadic crime usually. It's something that we usually see once in a while," Seals said.

Guilford County deputies said a Colfax gun store was targeted on Sunday too.

"Twice the same gun store got hit. Fortunately, they did not enter the gun store either time, "Seals said.

The owner's security system made the difference because it notified him when the alarms went off.

"(The owner) pulled it up and saw two subjects attempting to enter the store, He got on the speaker and scared them off and they ran away," Seals said.

Kernersville Police later arrested and charged two men. Seals said they were found with a gun stolen from High Point.

Investigators will be checking with other agencies to see if they could be connected to gun store break-ins in other places.

Seals said when a gun is stolen, its serial number goes into an FBI database. Law enforcement can use that number to track where it came from when it is recovered.

The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said deputies have recovered 14 stolen firearms so far this year. Last year, the sheriff's office recovered 11.

Last week, four people were arrested in connection to gun store robberies in Pilot Mountain and Yadkinville. Three of those charged are juveniles.

Seals said changes to state law in 2019 made it harder to keep teens from stealing more guns once they start.

"A lot of the juveniles that we're seeing [they] are pros at this," Seals said. "They have been through the system and they know what they can and can't get away with."

Several gun stores told WFMY News 2 they are increasing security after these robberies.

Seals said gun owners should take precautions too. He said it's important to keep a record of your guns' serial numbers and store them securely.

Before You Leave, Check This Out