Roosevelt police, ATF investigating theft of 18 handguns

Published: Wednesday, July 3 2013 2:19 p.m. MDT

Roosevelt police and the ATF are looking for the person who broke into Stewart's Marketplace June 23, 2013, and stole 18 semi-automatic handguns from the store's sporting goods department.

Roosevelt Police Department

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ROOSEVELT — Police and the ATF are investigating the theft of 18 semiautomatic handguns.

Surveillance video released Wednesday shows a masked man dressed entirely in black breaking into Stewart's Marketplace, 245 W. U.S. 40, about 2:30 a.m. June 23.

The man is seen running directly to the store's sporting goods department, shattering the glass out of a gun case and loading handguns into a duffel bag.

Roosevelt police detective Pete Butcher said the 18 stolen guns are all semi-automatic, including .380-caliber, 9 mm, .40-caliber and .45-caliber weapons.

"Based on the investigation and the evidence, the person did some homework in this case," Butcher said, adding that police believe the suspect is in his 30s.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has opened its own investigation into the burglary because of the number of weapons taken. All of the guns have been listed as stolen on the National Crime Information Center database, Butcher said.

"I wouldn't suggest buying a (new) firearm from a private person without a comprehensive knowledge of where that firearm came from," the detective said, noting that when someone stole a large number of guns in Roosevelt a decade ago, they were tracked to the Wasatch Front.

Investigators are hoping the public can help them identify the suspect.

"Somebody knows about it," Butcher said. "Somewhere along the line (the suspect) has told somebody or someone gave him a ride, so we'd ask you to come forward and help us out in this investigation.

Anyone with information should call the Roosevelt Police Department at 435-722-2330 or the ATF's Salt Lake City office at 801-524-7070.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com

Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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