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Stolen pickup truck used to ram gun shop for robbery

BEECH GROVE, Ind. (WISH) — A brazen, smash-and-grab burglary on Sunday morning of a gun shop, police say, involved three men who used a stolen pickup truck to ram the front door of the building.

The burglary happened just after 3 a.m. Sunday at Beech Grove Firearms, 3020 S. Emerson Ave.

Greg Burge, owner of the gun shop, described surveillance video of the burglary. “Once they back out, these three misguided citizens of Indianapolis will head straight for these two handgun cases.”

After the pickup truck pulled up to the front entrance of Beech Grove Firearms, two people exited the vehicle to help guide the driver toward the front door of the store. A narrow opening between two concrete barriers guards the shop’s entrance.

The video shows the truck hitting the door three times before making a hole big enough for the burglars to get inside.

Burge continued describing the video showing the burglary. “The gentleman wearing the red sweatshirt has got like a hammer, some type of a tool, starts busting glass. They start throwing guns into duffle bags and 40 seconds go by and they are gone.”

Burge believes they knew exactly what they wanted.

According to Beech Grove Police Department, the truck used to break through the front door had been stolen a few hours earlier during a carjacking on Washington Street in Indianapolis.   

Once the three men had completed their task, the ran to the back of the building to a waiting getaway car. They left the truck, lights on and engine running, on the sidewalk at the entrance.

The suspects were believed to have been inside the store last week.

Authorities were unable to confirm Sunday afternoon for News 8 whether any arrests were made.

In December 2020, four men armed with a sledgehammer and backpacks tried to get into Beech Grove Firearms around 5 a.m. on a Sunday, and police say the Beech Grove store was not their only stop. Shortly after that incident, the ATF sent an email to all federally licensed gun dealers in central Indiana that said two other stores had been hit the same morning.

Suzanne Dabkowaki, public information officer for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told News 8 on Sunday morning that agents were working to determine how many firearms were stolen.

The burglary came just two days after the Democrat mayor of Beech Grove expressed concerns to News 8’s Adam Pinsker about crime in the Marion County community.

Mayor Dennis Buckley criticized Marion County leaders for not doing enough to curb crime, but added that putting more cops on the street isn’t necessarily the answer either. A Second Amendment supporter, the mayor said he’s rethinking whether guns are more of a problem than a solution.

Buckley isn’t seeking reelection.

Rick Skirvin is a Republican candidate running unopposed on Tuesday for a bid to become the city of 14,500 residents next mayor. Skirvin told News 8 on Sunday, “It angers me, you know, we as Beech Grove citizens, we pay taxes into Indianapolis as well, you know, we are surrounded by Indianapolis. So, a lot of the things that happen in the city of Indianapolis affect Beech Grove.”

News 8’s Michaela Springer contributed to this report.

(WISH Video/Richard Essex)