ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – For the second time in two days, a gun shop in Littleton has been targeted by smash-and-grab thieves, this time by a brazen effort to get inside the shop.
“It’s what we call a smash-and-grab,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokeswoman Lisa Meiman.
The Triple J Armory at 311 East County Line Road near South Broadway was found with its front door and gate smashed in about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday. The front entrance break-in appears as through a vehicle drove through it.
Numerous firearms were found missing from inside the store. Although the investigation continues it appears between 20 to 30 guns were stolen.
“This was less than a minute that they were inside,” said Meiman.
Witnesses describe a white van crashing into the front of the building and several suspects entering the store and running out a short time later.
On Tuesday, another gun shop was broken into in the early morning hours. Dozens of guns were taken from Colorado Gun Broker on West Bowles Avenue.
A connection between the two gun shop robberies has not been confirmed, but police in Littleton are working with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF in the joint investigation.
Investigators are trying to determine if a white van involved in an accident in Denver is related to those crimes.
“It seemed like they weren’t too sure to run or stay, maybe there was something in the car, something they wanted to grab,” said witness Joseph Rodriguez.
“It’s too soon to tell if these cases are connected but we’re not ruling anything out and we’re looking at that possibility very closely,” said Meiman.
Meiman said the two thefts are concerning knowing that it’s likely the guns will end up in the hands of criminals.
“They don’t use them for hunting, they end up at crime scenes,” said Meiman.