Rio Rancho and federal officers are investigating the theft of numerous weapons this week from a private gun store in the city, Lt. Paul Rogers of the Rio Rancho police said.
“Because of the danger to the public that the firearms represent,” Rogers said, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for the theft at Rio Rancho Armory.
Police were also seeking a person of interest for questioning, Rogers said.
About 3 a.m. Wednesday, Rio Rancho police responded to an alarm activated at the business, located at 2006 Southern Blvd.
“When officers arrived, it was discovered that suspect(s) had forced entry into the business and committed the theft of numerous firearms,” according to a police news release.
Among the stolen firearms were two rifles with suppressors, one short-barrel rifle with a suppressor, and one short-barrel full automatic rifle with a suppressor.
Rogers said in an interview that because of the investigation, police didn’t want to be too specific about case details, including giving information on exactly how entry was made into the business. “It is a private business and not a military site,” Rogers said.
“There were quite a number of guns taken. We cited the four rifles as just an example of the firepower that was taken,” he said.
Investigators are seeking a man for questioning, after the “person of interest” went to another Rio Rancho gun store asking questions about weapons of the same type that were stolen in Wednesday’s theft. His image was captured by a camera.
“We want to find out what his interest was and to see what he may know,” Rogers said.
Information on the Rio Rancho Armory’s website states it is a “new and growing company” that can help customers with “all your hunting, tactical and practical needs.”
It adds that the store offers all types of firearms, accessories, ammunition, archery equipment, hunting gear and optics.
Anyone with information on the theft at the Rio Rancho Armory is asked to contact Detective J. Garcia at the Rio Rancho Police Department at 891-5938, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at 505-346-6914.