For Immediate Release
$20,000 Reward Offered for Information on Retail Gun Theft
ATF Seeks Public Assistance with Identifying Person of Interest
CORNELIA, Ga. ? The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Atlanta Field Division and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) ? the trade association for the firearms industry ? today announced a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft of firearms from Gene's Pawn Shop, a federal firearms licensee located in Cornelia, in Habersham County. ATF is offering a reward up to $10,000, which will be matched by NSSF for a total reward up to $20,000.
This reward is part of a larger national cooperative initiative between NSSF and ATF in which NSSF matches ATF rewards in cases involving the theft of firearms from federally licensed firearms retailers. ATF works closely with members of the firearms industry to curb the criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms.
ATF and the Cornelia Police Department are investigating the firearms theft. The theft occurred in the early morning hours on Friday, April 25 at 122 Old Cleveland Road. Additional information from the public may assist in solving this case. These firearms pose a potential danger and investigators are seeking information that would aid in the resolution of this investigation.
"Gun thieves play a critical and deadly role in the chain of violence. ATF remains on the frontline of solving these crimes and reducing violent crime." said Acting Special Agent in Charge Aladino Ortiz.
Investigators believe that a church van, stolen out of Atlanta, was used to smash through the front doors of the pawn shop and that the thieves used the same stolen vehicle later that morning to commit a similar "smash and grab" burglary at a clothing store in southwest Atlanta. Just prior to the Atlanta clothing store burglary, security cameras captured footage of a subject walking in the area who investigators consider a person of interest in the pawn shop burglary.
Video depicting the unidentified subject and the clothing store burglary can be viewed at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uqDZokjaLw&list=UUU4zKUGE-1Y9bzZXR0-woAg
If you recognize the individual you are asked to contact ATF. Anyone with information about this crime should contact the ATF's toll-free hotline at 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477). Callers may remain anonymous.
ATF is the lead federal law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in violent crimes involving firearms and regulation of the firearms industry. More information on ATF can be found at www.atf.gov.
PERSON OF INTEREST