Inside Carter's Country gun store heist

Burglars who ransacked business made off with 85 guns

By Jace Larson - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Channel 2 Investigates has learned new information in the investigation of a brazen gun store robbery at Carter’s County in Southwest Houston.

The burglars who ransacked the business made off with 85 guns and then tried to sell some of them on the black market, Channel 2 has learned.

Anthony Cannon, one of three people arrested in the investigation, set up his gun sale at his girlfriend's south Houston apartment near Martin Luther King and Airport boulevards.

A neighbor described Cannon’s supposed girlfriend as a "good girl." She didn't know Cannon.

Cannon presumably didn't know law enforcement had somehow been tipped off about his gun sale.

Court records reviewed by Channel 2 Investigates show police sent a confidential informant into the apartment and found the place full of guns and Carter's County price tags. Police used the information to get a search warrant for the apartment.

"We saw ATF, SWAT, the Gang Task Force," said Craig Hall, a neighbor.

Inside, police recovered 32 stolen guns. They also found several black socks. Police think these were used as gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints during the burglary.

Nearby, police stopped a car that had left the apartment and found 10 more guns, including an AR-15-style rifle.

It's a type of gun Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent Greg Alvarez, who is not authorized to give specifics about the Carter's Country investigation, said is sought after by crooks.

An AR-15 is popular because it's valuable, he said.

"Retail it might cost $700-$800. On the street it might cost $900 to $1,000," Alvarez said.

Alvarez said gun store thieves are often well-organized.

"They are going to check these gun stores out. They go to see what their inventory looks like, where the cameras are, ways to get into the building," he said.

In addition to the AR-15-style guns, gun burglars like Glock handguns, he said. "They are tougher than nails. Very popular with sportsmen, police and unfortunately the criminal element."

Stolen guns can be hard to trace because often they are quickly sold to someone else. That’s a focus of the ATF.

"The ATF is not going to come to law abiding citizens to ask for their guns. It's not something we do. We target violent criminals and violent criminal offenders," said ATF Supervisory Special Agent Art Peralta. "The ATF views stolen guns as significant safety hazards. People do not steal guns to put them in a display case or go to the range. They steal them to use them in criminal acts."

There are still 43 unrecovered guns from the Carter’s Country burglary that are out on the street someplace.

If you have a tip about this story for investigative reporter Jace Larson, email him at jlarson@kprc.com or text 832-493-3951.

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