HOUSTON - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Crime Stoppers of Houston and several other agencies have teamed up to increase the reward for information leading to an arrest in the burglary of a West Houston gun shop.
They’re offering $12,000 reward for information that will lead to an arrest and conviction.
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Police said four males burglarized Texian Firearms at 14800 Westheimer Road in Houston around 3:59 a.m. on June 7.
“This time, they stole a Durango from north side of Houston, brought it over, backed it up to our door, smashed our glass here, hooked up to the gate inside,” said Justin Jobe, owner of Texian Firearms.
This is the third time his store has been targeted. He’s put up concrete barriers in front of the door and iron bars along the front of the store to prevent future burglaries, but the thieves were able to get in.
“They rushed in and smashed two of my counters. One jumps over and grabs a couple of rifles off the wall,” Jobe said.
The ATF said the four black males were either in their late teens or early 20s and were wearing hoodies. The suspects left in a 1998-2003 two-door silver Honda Accord.
Ten minutes after the suspects burglarized the business, a light-skinned Hispanic male between 18-23 years old saw the smashed glass, took the opportunity and also burglarized the business, officers said.
Twenty-four firearms were stolen in both robberies, according to police.
"ATF is committed to using all necessary resources to getting illegally obtained guns off the streets," said ATF Houston Field Division Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski.
The ATF started the first-of-its-kind task force in Houston to help combat the issue of gun store burglaries, which are on the rise.
“We do have an issue with gun store burglaries and robberies in Houston, but that is also trending nationwide,” said Senior Special Agent Nicole Strong, the public information officer for the ATF. “We’re by no means the only city to do it. We are the only city to address it in a unique way.”
Strong said the ATF has had tremendous success since it started the group six months ago and has been able to increase the number of crimes it solves by 50 percent.
She said they have a partnership with local and state law enforcement agencies.
“We can’t exactly track where each gun shows up but we are close to the border, so some guns are going across into Mexico, but a lot of them are staying here locally in Houston,” Strong said. “These criminals use them to further their criminal activities and they’re traded for other things like drugs and money.”
Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at 1-888-283-8477 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477.
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