Regular readers of this site will be feeling a sense of deja vu when they see the words “ATF” and “Gun Theft” regarding Colorado. It has been a constant scourge on many gun stores around the state recently. However, after many months, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms have dealt a major blow to this sophisticated criminal ring.
Colorado has been an unfortunate hotbed of these thefts dubbed “Smash and Grabs” due to the manner in which the firearms are stolen (by driving a car into the establishment and quickly grabbing what firearms the perps can) over the past year. Most notably striking Denver’s Shooter Ready Gun Store and DragonMan in Colorado Springs.
Following the uptick in these thefts, the U.S. government sent the ATF to Colorado to handle the mess and on October 9th, it appears the proverbial trigger was finally pulled on the operation to arrest those responsible. 17 people have been taken to jail by the bureau. These 17 reportedly were responsible for the thefts of over 400 guns around the state in several operations the ring had carried out.
When asked about the arrests, Deborah Livingston, the ATF Special Agent in Charge of the operations seemed proud of the work that has been done bringing the thieves to justice, but warned this bust may not have been everyone that was involved in the ring.
“We believe we’ve arrested several of the major crews, but there have been some copycats, and we’ve also arrested several of those crews.”
Livingston also went on to explain just why there are so many of these thefts popping up and it comes down to the ease and lack of finesse needed to complete the operation (simply smashing a car into a building and quickly taking what guns you can) as well as the potential profit that criminals could see from stealing and selling firearms on the street.
“They steal them because they’re easy to sell, they get quick cash for something that retails for a high price,” Livingston said. “And they’re selling these things for pennies on the dollar.”
However, it seems that the ease these criminals had enjoyed at one point may be fading fast with the law enforcement of the state and the country breathing down their necks.
What do you think of this story? Are you happy to see these criminals finally brought to justice? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.