OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Another gun store break-in in has law enforcement wondering if the recent rash of gun store robberies are related.
Just after midnight Monday, two robbers busted in the door at the Tactical Advantage gun store in Overland Park with a sledge-hammer and ran in to clean out the place. What they found when they got inside was very disappointing.
“All of our handguns are usually in this case,” store manager Grag Langner pointed out. “They skipped right past all the parts, gear, equipment. There was ammo behind the counter. They were clearly looking for firearms.”
Langner believes the two guys caught on the store’s surveillance video previously cased his gun shop and knew right where to go to find what they were looking for.
“Two people approach the shop, one of them already has the sledge-hammer out and the other one has their backpack unzipped and open, ready to grab whatever it is they are coming in here for,” Langner said as he described the video. “They walk up, smash the glass out, come in to an empty case and immediately leave when they realize there is nothing to take.”
The planned smash-and-grab was more like a smash-and-go because all the guns at Tactical Advantage are locked up tight at night in a vault.
“Our thought is that if someone is trying to steal firearms, they cannot legally own them from the get-go. They would not be able to pass a background check, or they are trying to traffic them to other criminals, so we look pretty harshly upon gun thieves,” Langner said. "That is a big reason why we secure our stuff is simply because we don’t want those types of firearms to end up in criminals’ hands.”
John Ham with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said as the agency has been successful cutting off various paths of illegal guns on the street, criminals are turning to these types of gun store robberies keep up with demand.
“As you know we have had several in the past few weeks in the Kansas City metro area which is a bit unusual for us,” Ham said. “And so one of the things our agents have worked on is connecting those. Whether this one is involved with that, probably too early to know.”
The guys who broke in Tactical Advantage left one very important thing behind: the sledge-hammer used in the break-in. In the video it didn’t look like they were wearing any gloves, so this case could be the one that cracks several cases.
If you have any information related to the break-in at Tactical Advantage of any others in the metro, please call the ATF Hotline at 1-800-ATF-GUNS.