GREENWOOD, Ind. - The Greenwood Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are investigating a smash-and-grab burglary that happened at Elmore's Firearms over the weekend.
The thieves got away with three rifles worth more than $6,000 and caused more than $40,000 worth of damage to the building and other merchandise, according to owner Russ Elmore.
“When are they going to leave me alone?" Elmore asked. "It’s not the merchandise. It’s the personal violation of my place.”
This is the third time Elmore's store has been hit in the last 20 years. This time suspects used a stolen red pick up truck to ram into his building Sunday morning just after 6:00 a.m., according to Greenwood Police Department Assistant Chief Mathew Fillenwarth.
A bystander at nearby gas station called the crime in immediately after he heard the crash. Greenwood Police arrived on scene within two minutes, but the thieves were already gone.
“Fast in. Fast out," Elmore said about thieves using the smash and grab technique to rob gun stores. "Time is their enemy. They don’t want to spend any more time in the place than they have to.”
Last year in Indiana, there were nine burglaries at federally-licensed gun stores. Criminals got away with 198 guns in those crimes, according to the ATF. This year we've had several other gun store thefts in central Indiana. In September, thieves got away with nearly 20 guns from Indy's Trading Post in a similar smash-and-grab burglary. In August, thieves stole a dozen firearms from a gun shop in Hancock County.
All of these crimes are very concerning to police.
“When you have to commit a crime to get the gun, obviously you got to assume that intention of that person who already committed a felony to get the gun," Fillenwarth said. "Their intention is to use the gun in a crime or to supply somebody else that is going to use that gun in a crime.”
Elmore said he's working to get the hole in his building fixed up and will order new inventory. He's hopeful law enforcement will be able to bring these thieves to justice, but understands things like this unfortunately come with his line of work.
“I think it’s the price of doing business and a sign of the times that we are living in," Elmore said.
The Greenwood Police Department is asking anyone with information on this crime to come forward.