Owner of Gun City Auckland thinks air-rifle thieves wanted firearms

By Martin Johnston

CCTV security still from Gun City in Penrose showing a man during a ram raid on the gun store in which several BB guns and air guns were stolen. Photo / David Tipple
CCTV security still from Gun City in Penrose showing a man during a ram raid on the gun store in which several BB guns and air guns were stolen. Photo / David Tipple

KEY POINTS

Police investigating the gun theft have found a vehicle of interest

The thieves who broke into Gun City and stole BB guns and air rifles probably wanted firearms, the chain's owner says.

David Tipple told the Herald that, judging from security camera footage, three air rifles and probably four BB guns were stolen in the break-in at the chain's Penrose, Auckland store on the stroke of midnight at the start of New Year's Day.

The security of air-rifles and BB guns, stored in glass cabinets, was lighter than for firearms.

"[The offenders would] have to get entry from the back; they walked behind the counter to get them."

"I think the objective was to try to steal a handgun. Handguns are locked up like Fort Knox.

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

"After trying to bash their way in and not denting security, they grabbed a handful of what they could and ran."

"There were two [people] inside the shop. We haven't looked at all the footage yet. There may have been one more waiting in the car."

Tipple said the police had told him the vehicle is a Toyota Land Cruiser which was later reported stolen.

It was found about 2km from the Great South Rd shop.

The police were "pretty happy" with the forensic evidence they had found.

The Penrose shop in the national chain of seven stores last had guns stolen in a break-in three years ago, Tipple said.

The police said their investigations into the burglary were ongoing.

They had been notified by the Fire Service at around 12.30am that the store appeared to be "wide open".

"A vehicle of interest has since been located, containing stolen BB gun boxes. The vehicle has been towed for forensic examination."

- NZ Herald

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