LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – Thieves broke into a gun shop early Tuesday morning, smashed glass cases and stole dozens of guns. Now deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office are trying to find those responsible.

At approximately 3:45 a.m. Tuesday, thieves forced their way through the front doors of Colorado Gun Broker on West Bowles Avenue. The suspects smashed glass cases and took 29 handguns, according to the ATF.

Deputies arrived six minutes after the silent alarm was tripped but the thieves were already gone.

“Guns are obviously a very important topic in this country right now so when we have guns like this and a substantial amount hit the streets illegally, it’s not good,” said Jeffco Sheriff spokesman Mark Techmeyer.

There is no suspect description and the store’s security system was not working at the time.

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Investigators don’t believe the suspects are the same who have targeted the strip mall in the past because it wasn’t a typical smash-and-grab.

“In this particular case they pried the front door open with something pretty substantial and then there was a secondary security gate that was also pried open and then they used something to smash the glass cases containing handguns,” said Techmeyer.

Jeffco tweeted out that even though the security cameras were not working, other surveillance systems may have captured an image.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The break-in occurred right next to a business where the owner says the effort the suspects went through it frightening.

“It’s usually the smash-and-grabs … this is a little different crime. They got through the lock, it’s scary. I mean, it doesn’t make anybody feel safe. Nobody. I mean everybody here is paranoid,” said business owner Trina Erenest.

Techmeyer said investigators don’t believe any long guns or ammunition were stolen and continue to work to compile a list of everything stolen. The ATF is assisting investigators with the robbery.

“The person who stole them isn’t going to try to sell them legally. They are going to sell them on the street or try to pawn them,” Techmeyer said.

The burglars shattered the cases where the handguns were kept. They were not locked up in a safe as the ATF recommends.

“We make recommendations as that they should have a gun safe room so every evening they actually place the firearms in a gun safe; we talk about trigger guards,” Tim Kelly with the ATF said.

Gun store thefts have been on the rise around the country, including in Colorado. A burglary through the roof at Gunsmoke three years ago has still not been solved. A much smaller burglary at Bass Pro Shop earlier this year resulted in arrest.

Anyone who has information is asked to call (303) 271-5612 or tweet Crime Stoppers.

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