ATF investigating after high-powered rifles stolen from Apache Junction store

Posted at 3:09 PM, May 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-06 17:43:55-04

Authorities are investigating after thousands of dollars worth of firearms were stolen from an Apache Junction store.

On March 3, authorities were called Shoppers Supply near Apache Trail and Ironwood Drive after three people stole six high-powered rifles, a spokesperson for Arizona Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said.

ATF special agent Gabriel Pinon said because the burglary happened within seconds, he believes the suspects had previously been in the store and knew which guns they wanted to steal.

The guns were worth an estimated value of $7,700, ATF said.

"Often these firearms are recovered and often used in other crimes," Pinon said. "It is a public safety issue."

Pinon says he hopes authorities are tipped off by the public about the suspects' whereabouts.

"People that commit these crimes sometimes can't keep their mouths shut and that's the type of tips we're looking for," Pinon said.

Shoppers Supply vice president Tyler Schmidt released the following statement:

Shoppers Supply is cooperating with local police and the ATF in providing any and all information that may lead to the apprehension of the suspects regarding the theft of firearms from our store in early March. The safety of our employees, our customers, and our community is the highest priority for Shoppers Supply. We have since taken increased security measures to prevent this type of theft from happening again. As this is an ongoing investigation, we will defer any specific questions to the Apache Junction Police Department.

Silent Witness is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.