DACULA, GA -- Just hours after a large shipment of weapons arrived at a local gun store, burglars struck the shop and stole numerous handguns, tactical rifles and shotguns.
According to business owner David Duncan, Big Gun Armory received two large deliveries on Friday afternoon. Duncan said the 65 guns were immediately placed on display since store inventory had been heavily depleted due to increased sales related to the election, the Connecticut shootings and holiday shopping.
Then, at 1:47 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29, Duncan got a call from his alarm company -- the burglar alarm had been activated. Gwinnett County Police were also notified and arrived four minutes after getting the call, but it was too late.
“They cleaned my place out,” Duncan said.
According to Duncan, the burglar or burglars entered the store by smashing the front door glass, reaching through the bars and unlocking the door. Duncan explained that he initially had a keyed lock on the interior and exterior of the door, but was instructed by the fire marshal to switch the interior keyed lock to a twist lock for safety purposes. As a result, the burglar or burglars were able to access the interior of the store without damaging anything other than the glass.
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Once inside the store, the burglar or burglars opened the display cases, removed the handguns and took the rifles and shotguns displayed on the wall.
“For them to have been in there and out as quick as they were, there had to be several people,” Duncan said. Duncan estimates it would have taken four or five people to empty the store so quickly.
The exact number, however, is currently unknown due to an installation error in the video surveillance system. The system, Duncan explained, was supposed to be set so that when the cameras detected motion, recording would begin within a few seconds. Instead, the technician that installed the system reportedly set the motion activation delay for 45 minutes. By the time the video began recording, all that could be seen were police going in and out of the store, Duncan said.
Though the incident was not captured on video, Duncan said crime scene investigators were able to obtain numerous prints from the scene. Duncan is also checking with surrounding businesses to see if any of them have exterior video surveillance footage that may have shown the suspects or the suspects’ vehicle.
In the meantime, Duncan is in the process of providing the serial numbers for all the stolen weapons to police in the hope the guns will surface and lead to an arrest.
“I’ve got to believe it was someone who saw those shipments,” Duncan added.
If you have any information about the burglary or if you noticed any suspicious activity in the vicinity of the store Saturday night, please contact Gwinnett County Police at 770-513-5000.
“I just hope they catch them,” Duncan said. “They racked up when they hit my store.”
Duncan is still sorting through records attempting to determine exactly which guns were stolen. As of Dec. 31, he had confirmed 45 were stolen but believes 65 are missing. Duncan estimated the total value of the stolen weapons to be $75,000.