Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ATF Offers $5K Reward for Information on Retail Gun Theft

/PRNewswire/ -- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Atlanta Field Division, today announced a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and convictions of those responsible for a recent firearms theft at Kemp's Pharmacy, a federal firearm licensee in Claxton, Ga. The incident has triggered a multi-jurisdictional investigation, being conducted by ATF, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Evans County Sheriff's Office and the Claxton Police Department.

"Gun thieves play a critical and deadly role in the chain of violence, and ATF places a major emphasis on solving these crimes," said Special Agent in Charge Gregory Gant. "Investigative experience has shown that felons, gang members and juveniles are some of the most common customers for stolen guns in the underground economy of our streets. When guns fall into the wrong hands, the potential for violence increases. Solving this crime will be a team effort, among law enforcement and concerned members of the public."

The early morning burglary occurred on Saturday, June 12 at the business, located at 107 S. Duval St., Claxton, Ga. At approximately 12:50 a.m., the store's security system alerted owners and law enforcement to the burglary. The thieves made entry by smashing the front glass door of the business with a large, metal 55-gallon barrel. Once inside, they smashed two glass display cases and were able to steal a total of 26 handguns and an AK-47 style rifle. Security cameras from an adjacent business filmed two black male subjects fleeing on foot from Kemp's Pharmacy at the time of the theft.

Investigators are seeking the public's help with identifying the subjects involved and providing information on the location of any or all of the stolen firearms. Anyone with information is encouraged to call ATF's toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477). Callers can remain anonymous.

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