More than 20 guns stolen in Bountiful burglary; $5,000 reward offered in case

Posted at 2:56 PM, Oct 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 23:42:39-04

BOUNTIFUL, Utah – Federal and local authorities are offering a $5,000 reward in the case after security cameras captured a burglary in Bountiful where the thieves took more than two dozen handguns.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Bountiful Police Department are offering the reward in connection with a burglary that occurred around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday at Pawn Depot, 613 South 500 West.

"I got a phone call at 3:30 in the morning, very unsettling, let me know someone had broken into our business, and how quickly I could get there," said Cameron Winquist, one of the owners of Pawn Depot.

Surveillance footage shows two suspects wearing hoodies enter the store, and the person in the lead appears to make a shushing gesture to the other suspect as they pass through the front of the store. One suspect appears to be carrying a metal object, perhaps a crowbar. Within about a minute, the suspects exit again with the stolen weapons in bags.

Police say, based on the speed of the crime, they believe the suspects had scouted out the store ahead of time.

"The two men had obviously cased the area," said Lt. Dave Edwards with Bountiful PD. "They came in, broke through the glass window in front and went directly to where the weapons were stored."

Ken Croke, ATF Denver Field Division Special Agent in Charge, stated in a press release they need the public’s help to identify the suspects.

“Recovering these stolen firearms is a top investigative priority for ATF,” Croke stated. “We are appealing to the public to provide any information they have about this burglary. Our goal is to quickly apprehend those responsible and recover the stolen firearms before they end up in future crimes.”

Edwards echoed that plea for assistance.

"Any time we have this number of weapons, or any weapons, in the hands of criminals it's a real danger to our community," Edwards said. "We just don't want to see anyone get hurt. If we can recover these weapons quickly, we know our community is safer and the public at-large along the Wasatch Front is safer."

According to the press release, stealing firearms from a federally licensed dealer and possessing stolen firearms are both federal crimes punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The stolen guns are worth more $10,000 all together.

"It's definitely a big hit to the pocketbook, and we just try to run a business just like anyone else would want to," Winquist said. "It's the American dream, and when stuff like this happens it sets you back, when someone just violates what you've worked so hard for."

Anyone with information about the crime or the suspects should contact the ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS or Bountiful PD at 801-298-6000. Tips can also be submitted online through the ATF’s new “reportit” app, which is available here.  The press release states the $5,000 reward is for information that leads to an arrest and conviction for the suspects responsible.