LOPATCHONG — Three dozen handguns were stolen from a gun store in Warren County.
Prosecutor James Pfeifer believes guns are already on the streets and will contribute to gun violence in the area.
The thieves broke down the door and entered the Tech Ops International Gun Shop on Route 22 5th Street on Tuesday evening after it closed between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to Pfeiffer.
A video device outside the building has been disabled. A showcase where the 9mm weapons were on display was smashed.
Pfeiffer said the weapons were displayed and stored properly in the store.
The wholesale value of what is missing so far is $36,000 wholesale and nearly $70,000 retail. Not a single bullet was missing in the one-story brick building where the store is located.
Investigators are trying to identify the burglars
Investigators are reviewing surveillance video from nearby homes and businesses to identify the burglars. The ATF’s Newark office is also involved in the investigation.
Pfeiffer said he had lived in Warren County all his life and had not heard of a robbed gun store in recent years.
The prosecutor’s biggest concern is where the weapons will end up and how they will be used.
“They were illegally kidnapped and stolen. They are going to end up on the black market, they are going to end up on our streets and they are going to be involved in other criminal activities. Unfortunately, people are going to be killed because of this,” said Pfeiffer: “We suspect that these weapons will immediately end up on the streets.”
Pfeiffer asked anyone with information about the burglary to call his office at 908-475-6275, Lopatcong police at 908-859-2211 or the ATF at 973-413-1179.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
Click here to contact an editor about a comment or correction for this story.