Guns missing from storage facility
San Mateo County Times
By Christine Morente, STAFF WRITER
Friday, August 27, 2004
MILLBRAE -- Federal agents are sifting through leads and other information regarding the theft of 130 guns from a public storage unit in Millbrae.
The combination of pistols, rifles, shotguns, and revolvers -- valued at $100,000 -- were stolen from Annie's Attic Self Storage, a federally licensed storage facility sometime over the last three years.
The owner, a firearms dealer who hadn't been to the Adrian Road storage facility since Dec. 6, 2001, reported his guns missing to Millbrae Police on Aug. 19, said Millbrae Police spokeswoman Chris Co.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was notified of the theft on Wednesday and is doing a "very aggressive" investigation, according to Marti McKee, spokeswoman for ATF's San Francisco office.
"The biggest concern is to get the guns back," McKee said at a press conference Thursday. "(There are) two reasons why the guns were stolen -- for profit or that they are going to go into the hands of other criminals and use them in the community. We have to assume that the stolen guns will end up in the hands of other criminals."
Police say it appears the thief or thieves used bolt cutters to break through a padlock on the storage unit, then replaced the broken padlock with a similar one, Co said.
"The (facility) has surveillance cameras and an alarm system. It's an employee-secure premises with safety walk-throughs," Co said. "We don't know if the (firearms) were taken all at once or in different increments."
Authorities said they are not sure if there is going to be any penalty to the company that owns the facility, Aptos-based Monterey Bay Investments.
By law, federally licensed firearm dealers must report any thefts of firearms within 48 hours. It's unclear when the owner first noticed the weapons missing before reporting it to police.
Once the report was made, serial numbers from the missing firearms were immediately entered into the national law enforcement database, Co said.
"We're hoping that by entering the (serial numbers) in the national database, any law enforcement agency with guns in possession or who find guns will enter the serial number and hopefully pop up as being stolen. That's how we begin the connections," she said.
The theft marks the second time in two months that dangerous weapons were stolen from a facility in San Mateo County.
In July, 200 pounds of high explosives were stolen from a law enforcement bunker shared by the Sheriff's Office, San Francisco Police Department and FBI near Crystal Springs Reservoir above Interstate 280. The explosives were found two weeks later.
McKee said right now there is no information the theft was tied to terrorism or any link between it and the explosives theft.
Gun thefts are not uncommon, she added. In 2001, 257 firearms were stolen from a facility in Modesto and 86 guns were stolen in San Rafael.
Staff writer Christine Morente covers Burlingame, Millbrae, San Bruno, and Hillsborough. She can be reached at (650) 348-4333 or at email@example.com
He has 100K in inventory in a friggin U-store-it, and he hasn't been there sice Dec 2001?
Exactly what I was thinking. I get antsy if I don't open the safe at least once a week.
Man Califonia people are just strange...