CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4)- The owner of DCF Guns in Castle Rock says this is the second time in less than two weeks that his shop has been targeted by thieves. Now the ATF is offering a $10,000 reward for information on this and other gun store burglaries.
Thieves broke into DCF Guns by using a Jeep SUV to drive through the concrete barricades. They tried the same thing last week but didn't make it in. This time, they made off with a lot of guns.
The thieves used tow straps attached to a stolen Jeep and ripped the security gates right off the front doors.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says crimes like this are on the rise.
Last year, 273 firearms were stolen across Colorado, breaking a 10-year record. So far this year, more than 100 firearms have been stolen across the state.
The ATF says prosecuting these crimes is top priority because the intended use for the stolen guns is causing the biggest concern.
"They will not be used in hunting; they will not be displayed as trophies; these guns are destined for crime. We appeal to anyone who knows the identity of these suspects or the whereabouts of the firearms to contact us before innocent people are hurt," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Debora Livingston.
In addition to the attempted burglary of DCF Guns in Castle Rock last week, two other gun stores were unsuccessfully hit, one in Parker and one in Aurora.
The ATF says the burglaries in Colorado reflect national trends. The ATF is offering the reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspects who have burglarized the store in Castle Rock and three gun dealers since April 18.
Those locations include Springs Armory, 2462 Waynoka Road, Colorado Springs, when four or five masked suspects stole 22 handguns and rifles just after 2 a.m. on April 18; Triple J Armory, 311 E. County Line Road, Littleton, when four suspects used a vehicle to break into the store and stole 11 handguns at 1:55 a.m. on May 24; Machine Gun Tours, 12550 W. Colfax Ave., Lakewood, when two suspects forced their way in and stole 12 semi-automatic rifles and handguns just after 2 a.m. on May 26.
Anyone with information should call ATF's Tip Line at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (283-4867) or Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). Callers to the ATF and Crime Stoppers tip lines can remain anonymous. People can also submit a tip through ATF's new "reportit" app.
Stolen firearms in Colorado
- In 2016, 9,281 firearms were stolen from licensed gun dealers in the U.S.
- In 2015, 6,163 were stolen from licensed gun dealers in the U.S.
- In 2016, 273 firearms were stolen from Colorado gun dealers. In comparison, in 2015, 121 firearms were stolen from gun dealers and 56 in 2014.
- The most common theft is burglary, which made up nearly 81 percent (7,488) of the stolen firearms in 2015.
- There are about 1,636 licensed gun dealers in Colorado.
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