For the third time in less than a year, suspects rammed a vehicle into the same Littleton gun store during a burglary attempt, police say.
Police are searching for four suspects in the latest burglary of the Triple J Armory at East County Line Road and Broadway, said Cmdr. Trent Cooper of the Littleton Police Department.
“They actually drove through the front door and stole a bunch of guns,” Cooper said.
At 1:50 a.m., one of the suspects drove a stolen Jeep Cherokee over concrete barriers erected following the prior burglaries and rammed the front window. The thieves, dressed in hoodies, were captured on video stealing several guns, Cooper said.
A burglar alarm alerted Littleton police. The suspects took what they could get in a matter of a few minutes and then fled in a second vehicle, Cooper said.
No arrests have been made. The Jeep was stolen in Aurora, Cooper said.
“We were able to pull some security video,” he said. “We’ll sit down and really dig in and examine the video.”
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Although similar smash-and-grab burglaries are not unusual, law enforcement agencies in Littleton, Englewood and Denver have noted an upsurge in the cases. The agencies are working together to solve the rash of highly destructive thefts.
“It’s a very quick and efficient way to get into a business,” Cooper said. “Typically they are in and out in seconds or no more than a minute or two. They know the businesses have burglary alarms and security cameras.”
Smash-and-grab robbers have targeted convenience, gun and liquor stores and even beauty salons, he said. They steal lottery tickets and cigarettes from convenience stores, he said.
Triple J has been hit three times in less than a year, police said.
On June 22, Littleton police arrested suspects who drove through the front door of the shop and stole 29 weapons, mostly hand guns.
The owners built concrete barriers in front of the store. The barriers thwarted burglars in November who damaged a vehicle in an attempt to get over the barriers and failed to make entry, Cooper said.
“Unfortunately, this time they were able to get over the concrete posts and smash through the front door,” he said.
Cooper said gun shops have hundreds of guns and it’s difficult to lock them all up in safes each night like jewelry stores do. Some stores have display cases that include metal roll tops making it easier to secure their guns, he added.