For Immediate Release
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Contact: Mary Harmon Salter
ATF and Firearms Industry Offer $10,000 Reward in Polk County Firearms Theft
Tampa Field Division
TAMPA, Fla. – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, have announced a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft of firearms from Rapture Guns and Knives, a federal firearm licensee (FFL), in Lakeland, Fla. ATF is offering a reward of up to $5,000 which will be matched by the NSSF for a total reward of up to $10,000.
At approximately 1:33 a.m. on Jan. 9, 2016, Rapture Guns and Knives, located at 8216 US 98 North, Lakeland, FL 33809, was burglarized and 65 firearms were stolen.
It is believed that two white male suspects drilled out the lock on the front door and entered the store. Once inside, the suspects smashed the front glass display, removing 65 firearms and placing them into large bags and fleeing the store. The suspects are seen on video inside the store and then fleeing in an unknown make/model car heading south on US 98. This crime is being investigated by ATF and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
ATF and our law enforcement partners are committed to ensuring that our communities are safe and that those who violate federal laws are held accountable. Anyone with information about this crime should contact the ATF at (800) ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867) or the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at (863) 298-6200. All calls will be kept confidential. Information can also be sent anonymously to ATF via the mobile app www.reportit.com, using the Tampa Field Division as the location.
This reward is part of a larger national cooperative initiative between the 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 is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating violent crimes. For more information about ATF, go to www.atf.gov.