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Thieves steal 115 pistols, 35 rifles from gun store

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

As officers had their hands full confronting vandals who were shattering windows, setting fires and taking to rooftops in Downtown early Monday morning, thieves broke into a gun store in Southwest Albuquerque, making off with 150 firearms.

The break-in and theft of 115 pistols and 35 rifles of “various models and calibers” happened around 2:30 a.m. at JCT Firearms on Old Coors, just south of Central, according to a news release from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“It’s a significant amount of guns that were taken out of there, obviously in the hands of criminals,” ATF spokesman Tom Mangan said Wednesday, adding that no arrests have been made and no guns have been recovered.

The federal agency is stepping in to help Albuquerque police track down the people involved and get back the firearms. The ATF and National Shooting Sports Foundation are offering a joint reward of $10,000 for information about the crime.

Mangan said authorities do not believe the break-in was connected in any way to the earlier Downtown-area vandalism.

In fact, he said the thieves showed a “level of sophistication” by cutting the power line beforehand, disabling the alarms and security cameras.

He said the serial numbers from all the guns have been entered into the National Crime Information Center database in the hope they turn up sooner or later.

“ATF works closely with members of the firearms industry to curb the criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Gabriel Pinon said in the news release. “This crime is a top priority for ATF and we stand committed along with the Albuquerque Police Department to recovering these stolen firearms and ensuring the safety of our community.”

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