Attempted burglary in St. Charles is 7th gun store targeted recently

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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ST. CHARLES (KMOV) -- The St. Charles Police Department and the ATF are investigating an attempted break-in around 5 a.m. at Kevin’s Guns on Duchesne Drive. Police say the thieves stole a 2013 Hyundai Elantra a few blocks from the store and attempted to drive the car through the front of the store.

Kevin Powers owns the business.

”Just looks like they took the car and pulled up and bounced off the parking posts and gave up,” he said.

On surveillance video, two cars are seen driving into the parking lot and stopping in front of the gun store. Then the Hyundai drives forward, goes over a concrete parking block and then runs into a concrete and steel post known as a bollard. The car can be seen backing up and making a second attempt but once again is stopped by the bollards.

The thieves left the stolen car in the parking lot and drove away in another car. St. Charles Police say it’s too early to know for certain if these thieves are connected to a string of six gun store break-ins across the region over the last two months. A spokesman for the ATF told News 4 it’s very likely.

A standard bollard is made of a 7-foot piece of steel pipe. Three feet of the pipe is set in the ground, encased in concrete. Then the pipe is filled with concrete. Tim Craven with Topps Paving said bollards are designed to stop a car.

”We have certainly seen a pick up in demand for the bollards. The dispensaries, they have called us. And we’ve just ordered 20 more bollards,” he said.

Powers said even if the thieves had been successful at getting inside his store they wouldn’t have been able to steal any handguns because they’re all locked away after hours.

Since the string of gun store burglaries began, the ATF has been talking with gun shops in the region about security, according to Powers, who said he got a call last week.

”I did get a call from a special agent with the ATF reminding us to be sure and go over that, which we discussed with him,” he said.

The previous gun stores targeted by thieves are Metro Shooting Supplies in Bridgeton, Michael’s Arms in Edwardsville, Osage County Guns in Wright City and Mid America Arms in St. Louis. Thieves also broke into Academy Sports stores in St. Peters and O’Fallon, Illinois.

The ATF is offering a $10,000 reward in its investigation into the string of gun shop burglaries. Anyone with information about the thefts should contact ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (800-283-4867) or email ATFTips@atf.gov. Tipsters can remain anonymous.