Thieves steal 18 rifles, including AR-15s, after tearing a hole in the back of a Louisville pawnshop

LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – The owners of City Gun and Pawn woke up Monday morning to find a hole in the back of their store and 18 of their best rifles gone.

“It’s a terrible impact to the community for those weapons to be running around,” says Winston County Sheriff Jason Pugh. “The city police department is working diligently on this and we’ve offered to assist them and other agencies in any way that we can.”

Investigators believe the break-in happened Saturday at around 6 p.m. The Louisville Police Department is leading the investigation with help from the Winston County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Pugh spoke to WCBI Wednesday on their behalf to provide an update on where things stand.

“There was an alarm system on the building, and actually a good alarm system,” he says.

The sheriff says suspects bypassed the building’s alarm system by tearing a hole in the tin wall at the back of the store. The burglary was not discovered until City Gun and Pawn management went to open the store at around Monday at 8 a.m.

“There’s a wooded area behind the shop, so we tried to help (LPD) by looking around that area the morning that we learned of the incident,” Sheriff Pugh says.

The store’s owner did not wish to speak on camera but says the stolen weapons, which include AR-15s, shotguns and hunting rifles, are all worth about $10,000.

“Hopefully, the people that stole these weapons are just trying to sell them and don’t have any malicious reasons for stealing them,” the sheriff says. “Hopefully they don’t intend to hurt anybody.”

But after the city saw four shootings over four days during the second week of November, investigators are working to track down the stolen rifles before they can cause even more harm.

“It’s a grim, grim possibility here coming up on Thanksgiving tomorrow and in the holiday season,” Sheriff Pugh says. “Hopefully we can get these back in the hands that they need to be in.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire Arms and Explosives was in Louisville Tuesday to aid in the search.

The sheriff says residents should be on the lookout for any rifles being sold second-hand, especially those with a suspiciously low price tag. He also reminds the public that knowingly buying stolen property can carry the same penalty as the theft itself.

Anyone with information on the stolen guns should call Louisville Police at 662-773-3511.

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