FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - For the third time in less than a week, a gun store in the D.C. area was targeted by thieves. The latest incident happened Tuesday morning as suspects tried to break into a Fredericksburg gun shop. However, this time, they were unable to get in and their attempt was all caught on video.
It is unclear if the same suspects hit all three stores. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is involved to help investigate all of these cases as gun store burglaries in the country are on the rise.
The Fredericksburg attempted break-in happened at the SSG Tactical gun shop. Surveillance video first shows a U-Haul van pull up outside the business at around 5:40 a.m. Two men in hooded jackets get out of the van carrying large storage bins.
The second part of the video then shows the suspects using a tool to shatter the front glass door. Then they try to break the lock on a second cage door. However, they were unable to get inside and the two suspects took off a short time later.
This incident is similar to two other break-ins within the past week. At 50 West Armory in Chantilly last Saturday morning, the suspects took 48 seconds to get in and out of the store to steal 35 handguns. The store manager said one man acted as a lookout while the other two suspects took guns valued at a total of about $20,000.
Just three days earlier, security video showed criminals smashing the glass cases and pulling rifles off the walls at United Gun Shop in Rockville, Maryland, as the security alarm grew louder and louder. In less than 90 seconds, they got away with 31 guns.
The ATF said it is very concerned about the thefts because usually those guns end up in the hands of criminals. But you may not realize the federal government does not require licensed gun stores to meet any particular security measures. However, some states do have specific regulations.
The ATF does recommend gun dealers have alarm systems, high definition security cameras with audio and multiple locks on all entrances. They would like to see store owners take it another step further and place all firearms in a safe or vault, which was not the case in at least two of these gun shops targeted this past week.