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Looters Steal 29 Guns From Santa Monica Big 5 Store

SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) – Authorities are looking for a group of burglars who broke into a Big 5 Sporting Goods store in Santa Monica during the looting that took place during the George Floyd protests last week, and made off with more than two-dozen guns.

Looters Steal 29 Guns From Santa Monica Big 5
Surveillance photo of burglars hitting a Big 5 Sporting Goods store in Santa Monica, Calif., on May 31, 2020. (ATF)

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Monday released details of the May 31 break-in which occurred at about 8 p.m. at the store located at 3121 Wilshire Blvd.

The suspects used a sledgehammer and bolt cutters to get inside, and then stole 29 weapons.

They fled in a white four-door BMW sedan. The exact number of suspects and their descriptions were not confirmed.

Surveillance photos have been released.

The ATF and the National Shooting Sports Foundation – a trade association for gun retailers -- are offering a combined $10,000 for information leading to an arrest.

On the afternoon of Sunday, May 31, peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd degenerated into chaos when looters descended on the city, ransacking and vandalizing businesses and setting nine fires. The Third Street Promenade was especially hard hit.

About 100 National Guard troops were finally brought in to Santa Monica that night to disperse the crowds.

More than 400 people were arrested. Of those, 95% were not residents of Santa Monica.

"So what we can glean from intelligence online is that there are opportunists who are tracking where peaceful protests are occurring, and they are then going to that city, knowing that resources will be tied up in ensuring First Amendment rights to free speech," Santa Monica Police Chief Cynthia Renaud said the day after the mayhem. "They take advantage of that. And they loot and they perform criminal activity."

Anyone with information on the Big 5 burglary should call the ATF at 1-888-ATF-TIPS.

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