LOWELL, NC (WBTV) - Police in Gaston County are asking for the public's help in identifying two men they say stole handguns from a local gun shop.
The incident happened around 11:20 p.m. at Aim and Defend Gun Shop on the at 4300 block of Wilkinson Boulevard in Lowell. Officers responded to an alarm call at the business and found that a window had been busted out.
"They broke the casing and they stole 16 pistols valued at 15-to-16,000 dollars" co-owner J.C. Hueck said.
Surveillance video appears to show two black males enter the business, use a tire tool to bust the glass out of the counters. The owners said it took the men less than two minutes to snatch the guns.
"Normally we always store everything in the safe," Hueck told WBTV. "I was out and my partner had an emergency he had to take care of so he put away all the expensive weapons and pistols. He left out the lower-end… never expecting somebody to go for lower end stuff and that's what they took."
Hueck and his partner opened Aim and Defend in January on Wilkinson Boulevard in Lowell. They said Sunday night's break-in was the first time they had any problems.
"As a responsible gun dealer, my biggest concern is getting these guns off the streets so they're not in the hands of criminals" co-owner Tim Gable said.
Gable doesn't believe it was a coincidence that the men happened to strike on the one night when they happen to have left some of the guns in the case.
"They had to have been staking the place out," he said. "Waiting for a night when there's guns in there."
The owners are planning to beef up security by installing 'impact resistance windows'. They said the break-in is a "devastating blow to the business."
"We're both former military trying to make a living," Hueck said. "And these people really put a hurting on us when they steal $15,000 from inventory."
Anyone with information about the burglary or the men is asked to call the Lowell Police Department at 704-824-8540, or Gaston County Police at 704-866-3300.