Charlotte police warn that stolen guns could be involved in violent crimes

Of the 23 guns stolen, 22 of them handguns, another an automatic rifle. All are still unaccounted for.
Two men are wanted in Lenoir for stealing 23 firearms from E-Bay and Gun-Too.
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 5:57 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Two men are wanted in Lenoir for stealing 23 firearms from E-Bay and Gun-Too.

Lenoir police said this appears to be a random crime. The two men are seen on surveillance video smashing through the front door of Guns Too and grabbing what they could before running for it.

Of the 23 guns stolen, 22 of them handguns, another an automatic rifle. All are still unaccounted for.

“It’s a lot of firearms on the street,” Corey Ray with Charlotte’s ATF field office said.

Related: Police chief gives crime update as Charlotte homicides rise in 2022

Ray said while all stolen guns are a concern, handguns are more likely to be used in violent crimes, making this smash and grab stand out.

“Do these firearms leave the state, do they because part of firearm trafficking, do they end up in some other state involved in violent crimes? We also have concerned that they stay here in North Carolina,” Ray said.

According to 2021 data from the ATF website, North Carolina ranked 5th for the most guns reported stolen or lost.

WBTV talked to Mitch Hyatt with Hyatt Coins and Guns in Charlotte about what to do if you’re purchasing a gun from another person

“Having a receipt, and having a story on how you got it is very important,” Hyatt said.

Many gun stores offer a service that allows you to go into the store, have a background check and trace the gun’s origin.

If you can’t trace the gun back to the manufacturer, it’s a massive red flag.

“If you’re purchasing a new gun or a used gun it’s always best to do it through a dealer or with a dealer with both parties present,” Hyatt said.

Ray agrees, that not only is this the responsible way to obtain a firearm, but it’s also the safest.

Lenoir police say they are still looking for the two men involved in the robbery. If you know any information you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 828-758-8300