Lancaster County firearm theft case stands out for volume

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Nov 23, 2017 6:46 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

(Harrisburg) -- The recent theft of more than 70 guns from an outdoors store in Lancaster County stands out to investigators for the sheer number taken.

Police are looking for three suspects caught on surveillance footage in Kinsey's Outdoors in Mount Joy Township.

Police say they smashed through the glass front doors and made off with 72 handguns in a rolling suitcase.

Charlene Hennessy, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms' (ATF) field office in Philadelphia, says the number of guns stolen at one time is usually less than 20.

"The number of guns that were stolen is unusual from what we're used to seeing. Typically, it's not this many," she said.

ATF is partnering with a firearm industry trade group to offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Hennessy says rewards such as these usually help to crack the case faster. 

"Oftentimes, stolen firearms end up in the hands of violent criminals or on the streets," Hennessy said, "ATF's priority is to recover the stolen firearms before they can be used in any other crime."

ATF data shows burglaries of firearm retailers nationwide rose 48 percent between 2012 and 2016.
But in the same time period, burglaries from firearm dealers have been on the decline in Pennsylvania.

Last year, 276 guns were reported lost or stolen from the state's federally licensed retailers.

Hennessy said that could be due things like tougher state gun laws, or better security at retailers.

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