200+ firearms stolen from Indianapolis area warehouses
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — More than 200 firearms within the Indianapolis law enforcement community have been stolen from warehouses in the city, sources have told I-Team 8.
The thefts started a couple weeks ago, and many of those guns are high-end firearms that could now be on the streets of Indianapolis.
I-Team 8 confirmed two rifles valued at $4,800 each were stolen from a warehouse on South Tibbs Avenue.
What happened to the guns is anyone’s guess, according to Greg Burge, the owner of Beech Grove Firearms. He says gun dealers are not given alerts from local or federal agencies when firearms are stolen. “They know all of these guns have been stolen. They are making no public information. They are not notifying the dealers at all and, again, I don’t know what guns. I can only guess that many guns are traveling everywhere.”
Burge added, “In my opinion, it is a grave concern for so many levels. It is a public safety concern.”
Burge says a delivery driver recently stole two boxes of firearm accessories that were supposed to have been delivered to his shop. The driver forged a signature and kept two boxes in the delivery truck. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating.
The owner of the gun shop and range says when firearms are shipped the seller tracks the serial numbers. The ATF requires federally registered firearms dealers to account for every firearm they buy and sell. Burge and other federally registered dealers are not given a way to check firearm serial numbers to verify if a gun has been stolen or not. However, pawn shops have that ability.
Burge said, “You bring in a firearm into a pawn store, they are going to enter it in a government database and they are going to be told ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ so it helps. We do not have access to that program, nor is it required.”
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department sent a statement to I-Team 8:
“We can confirm a joint investigation with our federal partners to include the ATF and US Attorney’s Office is underway. At this time, beyond what is in the police report we refer additional comment to the US Attorney’s Office.”
When asked for a comment, the ATF referred I-Team 8 to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which would only confirm that an investigation is underway.