Gun thief caught in act.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by SheepleNoMore, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. SheepleNoMore


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    Dec 26, 2007
    Mid America
    Two more suspects still sought. What's with all the gun store robberies lately? Is that how some Militias members get their weapons?

    Belleville News Democrat

    One arrested during weapons theft at Belleville store; investigation continues
    BY JENNIFER A. BOWEN - News-Democrat

    BUZZ UP!
    BELLEVILLE -- Police continue to investigate the theft of several firearms during an early Tuesday burglary of the Curt Smith's Outdoors store.
    Officers responded to an alarm call at the store, 13 N. Church St., just after 1 a.m. Tuesday, said Capt. Don Sax. When officers arrived, they spotted a suspect next door on the north side of The Office lounge and ordered him to stop.
    The suspect instead held a gun to his head and refused to drop the weapon. Officers chased the subject and were able to arrest him in the 300 block of East A Street.

    The Curt Smith Outdoors Store, on North Church Street -- around the corner from their main sporting goods store which is on East Main Street -- was burglarized during the night. Photo taken about 8 am, after police had cleared the scene. - Tim Vizer/BND
    LINK: More metro-east crime news

    Several firearms were found on the suspect. He was not named pending charges.
    "We received a call around 1 a.m. from our security people stating that the alarm was going off," said John Vallero, president of the sporting goods store. "About half an hour later they called back and said the Belleville Police had a suspect in custody and they needed to see me right away."
    When Vallero arrived, the store was dark and police did not know whether people were still inside the building. The thieves had cut the power before breaking in, Vallero said. The security system in the store has backup power so disabling the main power supply did not disable the alarm system.
    "We didn't know what was going on," Vallero said. "The SWAT team came in, made a trip through the store and came to the conclusion there was no one left in the store."
    The thief broke a very small window to enter the store.
    "I couldn't believe he did it," Vallero said.
    The St. Clair County Sheriff's Department Special Response Team was called to secure the building. The store carries hunting and shooting supplies and is around the corner from the company's other store, Curt Smith Sporting Goods on East Main Street.
    The outdoors store remained closed Tuesday while employees cleaned up the mess left behind by the burglary and took inventory to determine exactly what stock was stolen.
    Vallero said the thief smashed gun cases and stole personal protection handguns. There was no ammunition or loaded guns taken, he said. However, he did not immediately know how many handguns were stolen.
    "We are going through inventory to see what is unaccounted for," he said. "That should match up with what Belleville Police has. Belleville Police did a remarkable job in getting here as fast as they did. They are to be commended."
    While police responded to the burglary and put a perimeter around the area, a police cruiser struck and damaged a gas line on a nearby building. The Belleville Fire Department responded to the gas leak and AmerenIP workers arrived to cap the gas line. No one was injured and no buildings were evacuated.
    Earlier Tuesday Belleville Police said they believed there were two more suspects who may have escaped with weapons. Sax said later Tuesday that he had no information to release on other suspects but the investigation into the burglary is ongoing.
    Vallero said the Curt Smith's Outdoors store will be open for business Wednesday.

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