With gun theft on the rise government investigators and the firearms industry’s trade group are offering a $5,000 reward for information on the theft of 17 handguns from a midstate gun shop.
Gun theft counts for more than 1,150 property reports in Pennsylvania in the last year where items were stolen.
Half of the reward for tips on the Feb. 5 burglary at the Trop Gun Shop in Lancaster County is being offered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The ATF said Friday that its $2,500 is being matched by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Such connected duel rewards are being offered under a nationwide initiative by the ATF and foundation to curb the illegal use of guns. These guns often end up being recovered in drug raids.
“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,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Donald Robinson.
The Trop burglary occurred just before 3:30 a.m. and was filmed by security cameras. The ATF and Northwest Regional Police are investigating. Anyone with information can call the ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-TIPS or log onto its email – ATFTips@atf.gov.