How Criminals Get Guns: 74 Stolen Guns, Only 19 Recovered

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posted on September 5, 2019
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Two Cincinnati men stole over 70 guns during a two-week span in July 2017 and since then, only a quarter of the stolen guns have been recovered.

Two men in their 30’s pleaded guilty to stealing 74 guns from three local gun shops in July 2017 and were sentenced to nine years in prison. Both were in police custody by November 2017.

As of June 2019, only 19 of the stolen guns have been recovered, court documents say.

In the first break-in at a gun shop, the men took 20 firearms, including a shotgun, after breaking the store’s glass door. Less than a week later, the men broke into a store in nearby Kentucky and stole 22 guns.

The two weren’t finished their string of gun heists yet. A week later, they broke into a third gun store, located in Ohio, and took 32 guns after smashing into a walled display cabinet. At that point, they’d stolen 74 guns.

With 55 stolen guns unaccounted for, prosecutors say the firearms “were likely sold to people who can’t buy guns legally.”

“We do not know where those weapons are, and we do not know how to retrieve them. Law enforcement can only play catch up, hoping by chance and circumstance to recover the guns before they are involved in other acts of violence,” said prosecutors.

The men were indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2017 and both pleaded guilty to stealing more than 70 firearms in U.S. District Court in September 2018. Each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft and two counts of theft from a federal firearms licensee. One man also pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to court documents.

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