NEW WHITELAND, Ind. (WISH) – More than 30 guns were stolen from a firearm store in New Whiteland over the weekend.
Surveillance video shows the moment thieves broke into Element Armament, 400 Tracy Rd, around 4 a.m. Saturday. Police say the suspects managed to get away with 33 firearms.
The store’s owner says the suspect didn’t trash the store but appeared to know what they were doing and what they were looking for.
They escaped before police arrived, but officers recovered one of the stolen guns nearly 24 hours later when Southport police tried to pull over a car early Sunday morning for running a stop sign.
“The vehicle crashed, person fled. We weren’t able to apprehend him, but we did get the vehicle and in the vehicle was a stolen gun,” said Southport Police Chief Tom Vaughn.
The owner of the shop told News 8 the thieves didn’t take many accessories and only left behind four guns in the entire store.
The gun shop owner estimated he lost $30,000 in product. He’s also lost some peace of mind, he said, knowing that more than two dozen stolen guns are in the hands of criminals.
“It doesn’t take long for them (guns) to travel around,” said Vaughn.
Police say time is of the essence to locate the suspects and the weapons, especially because one of the guns has already been located outside county lines.
“Are they using them for themselves? Are they selling them to other people? You know, where are they going? Well that is because we do know that there is thirty-some guns right now that aren’t supposed to be and we don’t know who has them,” said Vaughn.
People who were nearby were shocked to learn what had happened just a few doors down.
“Definitely surprised to hear something like that happened in this area, in Tracy Plaza,” said Julia Cross, who works near the store.
Police said the theft is a public safety concern after multiple robberies have happened in the last month where a firearm was stolen.
“These aren’t good guys who took the guns. So they took them for a reason. Now what is that reason? And they aren’t afraid to use a gun,” said Vaughn.
“The fact that that is even a possibility to be in our neighborhood, to be in our park, to be in our school system is really scary,” said Cross.
New Whiteland Police are working with IMPD and other agencies to investigate the theft and say it could possibly be connected to other recent robberies in the Indianapolis area.