Detectives Seek Public Assistance In Catching Brazen Gun Shop Burglary Suspects

It took less than five minutes for the dozen or so unknown suspects in hooded sweatshirts to remove nearly three dozen firearms from a Tampa area gun store during a smash-and-grab robbery last month.

The incident took place in the middle of the night at the Tampa Arms Company located at 4023 Waters Ave. W., but according to detectives, its robbery’s consequences can reach to much farther.

Based on surveillance video captured at the scene, detectives said that an unknown suspect drove a vehicle through the front glass entrance of the gun shop, which then provided a way for as many as 10-15 suspects to enter the business and remove close to 40 firearms, including Glock handguns, shotguns and AR-15 assault-style rifles before they fled the scene by unknown means.

“These types of incidents always pose a higher level of danger as weapons get out on to the streets,” said Hillsborough County detective and Public Information Officer Larry McKinnon.

Hillsborough County detectives working in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are asking for information in the Tampa gun shop burglary.

The Sheriff’s Office said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, have announced a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft of firearms from Tampa Arms Company, a federal firearms licensee (FFL), in Tampa.

ATF is offering a reward of up to $5,000, which will be matched by the NSSF for a total reward of up to $10,000.

Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is also offering a reward of up to $3,000 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the unknown suspects involved in this case.

“We take this incident very seriously and pursue it aggressively,” McKinnon said, adding that the community is always part of the success.

Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), www.crimestopperstb.com.