Lock’s Gun Exchange in Mayfair might want to beef up its locks, and the rest of its security system in the wake of three recent break-ins that resulted in the theft of 17 handguns from the shop.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released surveillance photos and video of a suspect in the burglaries, along with a rendering of his distinctive clothing, to the public last Thursday.
The burglaries occurred at 6700 Rowland Ave. (at the intersection of Frankford Avenue) on Aug. 26, as well as Sept. 1 and 14. All of the crimes occurred between 2 and 3:30 a.m.
The ATF has released few details about the method of the break-ins. On Aug. 26, an undetermined number of burglars entered the store through unspecified means and made off with five handguns. No missing guns were detected following the next break-in on Sept. 1. But on Sept. 14, burglars returned to the shop and made off with 12 more guns.
During the Sept. 1 incident, a surveillance camera recorded a burglar as he hurled long rifle or shotgun barrels like spears at a gun cabinet in an attempt to break the glass enclosure. The clip released by the ATF lasts 13 seconds and can be viewed on the Northeast Times’ Facebook page. 6ABC reported that heightened police presence in the area that night may have prompted the crook to flee empty handed, although no arrests were made.
In the video, the suspect appears to be wearing a black hoodie, black pants, black sneakers and a black mask or scarf that obscures much of his face. The hoodie features distinctive designs on the chest and hood depicting a crown and the word “KING” in white or gold printing.
A second video released by the ATF lasts two seconds and shows a person prowling around the shop, although it was recorded in night vision, so the images and colors are not easily distinguishable.
The owner of the shop reportedly told 6ABC that burglars had entered the business via the roof on at least one occasion. An ATF spokesman, Special Agent Steven Bartholomew, told the TV station that investigators think the man in the video had an accomplice or accomplices.
The ATF and National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for firearms dealers, have partnered to offer $10,000 in reward money for information leading to the capture and conviction of the burglars. They hope to make progress in the investigation before the stolen guns end up in violent hands.
“Stolen guns are quickly peddled through underground sales or traded for drugs and ultimately end up at crime scenes, to include being used in acts of violence,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Sam Rabadi said in a printed statement.
Contact the ATF hotline at 1–888-ATF-TIPS (283–8477) or email to ATFTips@atf.gov to report information. ••