CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – The Bureau of Alcohol , Tobacco , Firearms and Explosives are teaming up with the Chattanooga Police Department to offer a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person responsible for breaking into a Big Bucks pawn shop and stealing dozens of handguns.
“It was about 2:30 on Monday morning the 21st of this week. We had one individual that appeared through a surveillance video – a black male- broke through some glass to the shop. Got inside the business, broke into the display cases and stole approximately 25 firearms,” Mickey French, ATF Special Agent in Charge.
All the 25 firearms are handguns and have now been entered into the stolen gun database.
“We were provided all of the serial numbers for each of these guns and we have entered them into a national database and into other search engines as well. We are waiting to see if we get a hit on any one of those guns that could lead us to recovering the weapons or making an arrest,” says Sergeant Alexis Mercado, CPD Burglary Unit
Officials say that with the recent uptick in gun violence across the country, and with the increase seen recently here in Chattanooga, having 25 stolen firearms out on the street is extremely concerning.
“This is very alarming. This is a very high number of guns that were taken. The last burglary we had where guns were stolen, only two guns were taken. So to us 25 is a very big number especially for our city and it’s size,” says Sergeant Mercado.
“Stolen guns are crime guns. They are used to commit these violent crimes and shootings. Obviously the public doesn’t want violent crime in their city. Nobody wants Shootings in or around their residence. So people need to speak up,” says Agent French.
Using security camera footage, The suspect was photographed fleeing the scene in a red sedan.
Anyone with information about this crime should contact ATF at (888) ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), or the Chattanooga Police Department (423) 698-2525.