Assault weapons stolen from Aurora residencePublished 9:20pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office investigators are looking into the theft of six firearms stolen from an Aurora home on Monday.
At 2:30 p.m., an alarm activation at a residence on Spring Creek Road alerted authorities to a possible break-in. When Aurora Police Officer David Kendrick responded to the scene, he found a damaged back door open. Inside the house, the panel of glass fronting a wooden gun cabinet had been shattered and the guns inside, missing. Outside, investigators found a clip from one of weapons in the backyard.
According to a sheriff’s office report, the stolen firearms were a MAK-90 rifle, an SKS rifle, a TEC-9 handgun, a TEC-22 handgun, an M-11 handgun and a .22 long rifle. Maj. Kenneth Watson, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, described the firearms as “assault-style” weapons with the exception of the .22 LR.
With Monday’s theft, the number of weapons reported stolen to the sheriff’s office this year climbs to eight. In 2012, the agency logged a total of 30 pistols and 22 rifles reported stolen in Beaufort County — a number that breaks down to one firearm stolen per week. Some of the weapons have been recovered in other states, at traffic stops or during the execution of search warrants, but many others have not, Watson said. The weapons have likely ended up — and stayed — in the wrong hands.
“There is a definite connection between stolen firearms and the drug trade,” Watson explained. “They’re a hot commodity for drug dealers because they use them to protect their profit and products.”
Watson said that people have the right to expect that their homes won’t be invaded by the thieves, but the reality is that it can, and does, happen.
“That’s why we encourage anyone who has a firearm to secure it in a way that reduces the chances of it being stolen,” he explained. “There’s a responsibility that comes along with gun ownership: keeping it safe, secure, away from minors and doing the best you can to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.”
Watson said the case has been assigned to a sheriff’s office investigator, but anyone with information about the theft should contact Beaufort County Crime Stoppers by phone, text or through the Crime Stoppers website.
To contact Crime Stoppers, call 252-974-6400; text a tip anonymously by dialing 274637 on a cellphone and in the body of the message type BCSO131 and the tip; or submit a tip through the Crime Stoppers website, www.beaufortcountycrimestoppers.com, by following the “Tip Line” link and filling out an online form. Calls, texts, and emails are anonymous. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in this case. Tipsters do not have to give their names to receive rewards.