Gun Thefts Among The Most Worrisome Of Burglaries - Southern Maryland Headline News

Gun Thefts Among The Most Worrisome Of Burglaries

By Guy Leonard, County Times

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (June 19, 2008)—Investigators with the St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations have retrieved most of the firearms stolen during a burglary at the Tackle Box sporting goods store in Lexington Park more than a week ago, but the number of times the store has had firearms stolen worries police.

“I wish there were better security there but I can’t go into specifics,” said Lt. Rick Burris, commander of the investigative unit. “We’re certainly concerned with security at any place that has weapons.”

Burris said there was a firearms theft there in 2006, and that several guns were stolen during an armed robbery in 2007.

One of those firearms, a Glock 19 9mm handgun, was used by Johntonna Young, one of the armed robbers, to kill former U.S. Navy sailor Kenneth James Walter when he caught Young attempting to steal items from his car.

So far, the June 6 burglary at the Tackle Box has been the only one this year.

Burris said investigators area still looking for a couple of the firearms that were allegedly stolen by David T. Dillow, 23, of Hollywood.

“Thefts from gun shops are serious to us because of what the results can be,” Burris said. “We saw that with the armed robbery in 2007. “We hope that gun shops would do everything they could to make the weapons secure.”

Ken Lamb, owner of the Tackle Box, said his business has an alarm system, and that every time his store has been burglarized or robbed law enforcement has always had a rapid response time.

This latest incident has forced him to replace the doors he had on the front of the store since 1974, he said, but these are much stronger than the old ones.

Lamb also said he is considering installing a folding metal screen that would come down over the door once the store is closed for the night. Lamb admits that guns at his store make a tempting target for thieves.

“When you have guns it goes with the territory,” Lamb said. “We’ve never had a break-in, burglary or armed robbery where [law enforcement] didn’t find the culprits and most of the guns have been recovered.”

Lamb said gun stores weren’t the only targets of thieves seeking weapons; private homes were just as much in danger.

“There’s not a week or so that goes by when someone brings in a list of stolen guns and says ‘Hey, would you look out for those guns,’” Lamb said. “It happens often.”

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