130 firearms stolen from dealer
Federal agents not told until a week later
- Charlie Goodyear, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Federal authorities are investigating the theft of 130 firearms from a Millbrae storage facility used by a gun dealer.
A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said the agency learned of the theft Wednesday and had agents working overtime to find the missing guns. The theft was discovered last week.
"What I know is that on Aug. 18, it was reported to a local law enforcement agency,'' said Marti McKee, spokeswoman for San Francisco's ATF office. "It appeared to be a theft at a storage location in Millbrae. And that storage location is used by a federally licensed firearms dealer.''
McKee said 130 guns were reported stolen, including rifles, shotguns, revolvers and pistols. McKee said she did not know for sure which police agency was initially responsible for investigating the theft or why it had taken a week for federal agents to be alerted.
"This is a very high priority for us to locate these guns,'' she added. "The dealer is obligated by law to notify us of any theft. We were notified by law enforcement.''
A dispatcher for the Millbrae Police Department said no one was available to comment Wednesday night. The gun heist last week is the second case in six weeks involving the theft of dangerous weapons in San Mateo County. In July, 200 pounds of explosives were stolen from a supposedly secure bunker with a broken alarm system.
Asked about a motive for the firearms' theft, McKee said, "It could be for profit to fence them. But it's gotten harder and harder for criminals to buy guns. Criminals steal guns from gun stores because they can't buy them. These guns could have been stolen for use in crimes.''
E-mail Charlie Goodyear at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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©2004 San Francisco Chronicle
But those are the "safe" firearms, right? You know, the kind that the .gov out there has deemed "ok" for mere citizens to own?
So there's really no threat, right?