For the third time in six years, a Center Grove area gun store was broken into and multiple guns were stolen.
About 2:45 a.m. Wednesday, someone used a sledgehammer to break through the two-layered roof and drop into Elmore’s Firearms on State Road 135 in Greenwood, Greenwood Police Department spokeswoman Kortney Burrello said.
In less than two minutes, the person got in and out, taking with them seven handguns and two long guns, according to a news release from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
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Now, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is involved in the investigation and is offering an up to $5,000 reward for information in the case.
This is the third time Elmore’s Firearms, located at 520 N. State Road 135, has been burglarized, Burrello said.
Previously, in both 2011 and 2016, thieves drove a vehicle into the store and stole guns.
This time, the person pounded a hole into the roof and dropped about 12 feet into the store, Burrello said.
After past burglaries, the store added more security features, such as bars on the windows, and changed procedures inside the store so fewer guns would be available to steal, she said. Now, the store might need to consider a different security system, or one that monitors more areas of the building, she said.
Video from inside the store showed a person who was covered from head to toe, wearing gloves, a mask and a sweatshirt. But investigators hope the distinct sweatshirt will help them identify the thief, Burrello said.
Having the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives get involved in a gun theft investigation isn’t necessarily unusual, especially if investigators want more help with the case. And the reward being offered also could help lead to getting more information, she said.
The federal office is offering a $2,500 reward for information, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation is matching that reward, said Suzanne Dabkowski, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokeswoman.
Anyone with information about the burglary should contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at 1-800-283-4867, by email at ATFTips@atf.gov or through the website at www.atf.gov/contact/atf-tips. Tips may also be anonymously submitted using the ReportIt app or by visiting www.reportit.com.