EL CENTRO — A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrests of three men suspected of stealing firearms from a burglarized El Centro gun store in mid-June.
The burglary reportedly occurred at The Gun Shop, located at 510 Broadway, between June 10 and 14. Several undisclosed types of handguns were reportedly stolen during the incident, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Los Angeles Field Division reported.
Law enforcement officials determined that three males broke into the store and then fled with the stolen firearms, the ATF stated in a press release it distributed Wednesday, June 22.
The ATF is working with El Centro Police Department and is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspects and the whereabouts of the stolen firearms.
Anyone with information about the incident should contact El Centro Police Detective Jeffrey Malcomb at 760-335-4661. Callers can remain anonymous. Tips can also be submitted using the Reportit® app or by visiting www.reportit.com
The ATF is offering $5,000 and the National Sports Shooting Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, is offering $5,000 for information that results in the apprehension of the suspects.
The reward is part of a larger national cooperative initiative between the NSSF and ATF in which NSSF matches up to $5,000 of ATF’s reward in cases involving the theft of firearms from a federal firearms licensee (FFL), the ATF stated.
Federal firearms licensees must report to ATF any missing, lost, or stolen firearm from the FFL’s inventory within 48 hours of discovery of the loss or theft. The licensee must also report the firearm theft or loss to the appropriate local law enforcement agency.
“Firearms stolen from FFLs pose a threat to community safety as well as our law enforcement partners,” said ATF Los Angeles Field Division Special Agent in Charge Monique Villegas. “Stolen firearms are crime guns. They fuel illicit trafficking and are used by violent criminals to terrorize our communities. ATF will continue to work with FFLs and industry groups, providing guidance on best practices to enhance security and ways to diminish the risk of firearms thefts.”