Firearm thefts have gun store owners on alert

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by Megan Trent
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 23, 2014) – Two big firearm thefts in the past few days have some gun store owners taking notice and taking precautions.“When you have a trailer full of guns stolen and you have a gun dealer get murdered in his gun store, there’s quite a bit of concern there,” says Brain Ludlow, owner of Indy Trading Post on the city’s south side.Over the weekend, a trailer full of military grade firearms was stolen from behind Profire Arms and Supply on Rockville Road in Indianapolis. It was later found empty on Ralston Avenue. Police searched an Indianapolis home Monday night and recovered some of the stolen weapons.

Police say they continue to seek information that will lead to the recovery of the remaining firearms and the people responsible for the theft.

“We sell an item here that some people aren’t allowed to have by law,” says Ludlow. “Unfortunately, some people will go to great extremes to get those items.”

In Jennings County, 61-year-old Scott Maxie was fatally shot this weekend inside the gun store he owned, Muscatatuck Outdoors. Police say 47 guns were stolen from the store. Three Indianapolis men were arrested Monday and charged with robbery and murder. Police say four weapons have been recovered from the robbery.

Ludlow says people have tried breaking into his store before as well, but usually when employees aren’t there.

“Most of the trouble we’ve had is people trying to get in at night. They wait until there’s no one here, which there is security in place to take care of that.”

He says security at his store is already tight, and he hasn’t made any major changes as a result of the two recent firearm thefts. He is, however, reminding employees to stay alert.

“I talk to the employees here about the current situations, and obviously I want to make sure that everybody is alert and paying attention to people when they come in.”

Many employees, as the sign on Indy Trading Posts’ front door points out, are armed.

“You’re going to be hard pressed to find employees that don’t have guns on them,” says Ludlow as he describes the inside of most gun stores, including his own.

Being a target, he says, is a somber reality for firearm retailers.

“You can’t go into your day every day worrying about that, but you do need to have situational awareness. Know what’s going on around you and pay attention, because that one time when you’re not paying attention is potentially when something bad could happen.”