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ATF hopes to quickly track down firearms stolen from Merriam store

MERRIAM, Kan. -- Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are on the scene of an overnight burglary, where thousands of dollars worth of firearms are missing.

It happened at Signature Manufacturing, near 67th and Knox streets.

Merriam police tell FOX 4 News a burglar alarm alerted officers to the break-in at about 2:30 a.m.

Signature makes and sells so-called tactical rifles and pistols.

ATF industry operations investigators are checking the business's records to determine just what exactly was taken.

Owner Mike Everhart says he believes at least $6,000 worth of firearms are missing.

"We have an alarm system, we have bars on the doors," Everhart said. "We have a safe. We even have cameras in the portion that the public visits. There’s no way somebody just walking by could have known those guns were in there."

Everhart says after nine years at this location, he was in the process of moving the business.

He says he usually keeps all firearms locked in a safe, but because of the move, some guns had been left behind in the building overnight.

The ATF says guns don't stay in the hands of people who steal them for very long.

That's why agents are working quickly to determine what's being sold on the street. The ATF says last year reported burglaries from federal firearms dealers nationwide increased by more than 48 percent.