GREENWOOD, Ind. -- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is offering a big reward for anyone with information about a gun store robbery in Greenwood.
Three men broke into Atkinson Firearms on Wednesday. Earlier that day they walked into the store to case it. The owner believes it's because they couldn't see through his blackout windows.
“They were asking about guns. They were looking about the store," said shop owner Sean Atkinson, "Now that I look back, he was looking at the windows, the bars."
Atkinson says one of the suspects had a limp, and that he was bragging to him about being recently shot at 38th street and Keystone Avenue. Later that night, the trio made it through an obstacle course of protection.
Atkinson says they broke through a double-paned glass window with a ball-peen hammer, and then kicked out a window bar going across the window. The break-in triggered high definition motion sensor cameras and broken window alarms.
Atkinson says those safety measures alert police directly. He believes that's the reason they didn't make off with more than the nine .380 caliber pistols that they stole. They had been in a locked case, and the thieves smashed the glass top. Atkinson believes they knew time was running out, so they bolted out of the store.
“When they got themselves out, they cut themselves pretty bad on the shards of glass," Atkinson said.
The security cameras caught the three men, but ATF is still working to find out who they are. They say the three left in a brown Ford Explorer.
“Somebody out there will recognize these individuals, and recognize the vehicle that we are looking for," said Patrick Hand with ATF.
If you have information that leads to an arrest and conviction, the ATF is giving a $5,000 reward.
Hand fears these guns could already be on the street.
“We almost immediately start seeing them show up in crimes, recovered on the street illegally in possession of someone," Hand said.
Unfortunately, Atkinson says he has received harsh feedback from customers, who claim he "allowed" the thieves to take the guns, despite the litany of advanced security protocols he has in place. A burglar can't even drive a car into the building to steal the guns because he has blockaded the front with concrete bollards.
“Since the story broke, I’ve received some pretty nasty phone calls. Phone calls saying I'm not a good person, that I should feel ashamed that I allowed these guns to be stolen," Atkinson detailed, "You feel violated first of all, and then you go from the violation to that self-blame, "What could I have done better?" I've had a lot of good people, who are other firearms store owners, tell me it’s not your fault. Can’t blame yourself. Every firearm that I own will be now locked in a safe, and none will be left out."