Crime and Courts

Burglars in stolen Hyundais hit 2 San Diego County gun shops exactly a week apart

Stolen Hyundais were driven in reverse in both burglaries to smash entryways

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In the wee hours of Monday morning last week, somebody put a stolen car into reverse and slammed it into a gun shop in Oceanside.

This Monday, around 5 a.m., somebody tried the same thing, this time in Miramar.

Investigators with the Oceanside and San Diego police departments are probing the pair of very similar crimes.

Up in North County, a car slammed through the Firearms Unknown shop's front doors — and the accordion-style security gate just inside them — at around 3:45 a.m. on June 17. When officers arrived at 1906 Oceanside Boulevard, the lights were still on in the light-colored Hyundai that had come to rest well inside the store.

New information and video footage is shedding light on a recent Poway gun range and store burglary, NBC 7's Dave Summers reports.

The thieves made off with "a bunch of guns," according to OPD spokesman Tom Bussey.

Bussey said the car inside the shop had been stolen and that there were possibly as many as three suspects.

In Miramar on June 24 around 5 a.m., police said, the burglars — there were at least a pair of them, according to investigators — backed up a Hyundai Elantra to Ammo Bros at 7550 Miramar Road, then reversed it up and onto the sidewalk in front of the shop and slammed it into the store. This time, the security glass shattered, but the doors and accordion gate held. The burglars were gone but the car was still there when officers arrived, having been called to the scene by a witness.

Detectives have just been assigned the case, according to an SDPD spokesman, who said it's not likely they have linked the two incidents yet, so "right now, we can't say they're related."

When he was told about the Miramar burglary on Monday, Riley Harris, the manager of Firearms Unknown, said he wasn't surprised. Asked why, he said an ATF told him after the Oceanside burglary that there was a similar incident in the recent past in Riverside. He also said the store would bounce back from the incident.

Burglars stole numerous handguns and rifles overnight from one of the largest gun ranges in San Diego County.  NBC 7's Allison Ash has more on the story.

"We'll be open in just a few weeks with a more secure front," said Harris, who's worked at the shop since 2018.

Asked about the burglaries, ATF spokeswoman Ginger Colburn said "there's definitely been some FFL burglaries," using the acronym for "federal firearms license."

Colburn said the agency had sent out a bulletin to gun dealers in the region, reminding them to secure their firearms and their businesses as an extra precaution. The spokeswoman said the ATF was working with local law enforcement to see if any of the burglaries are connected.

This week's heists are reminiscent of one back in March of this year in Poway when at least two burglars targeted Poway Weapons and Gear, a popular range and gun store that San Diego police officers practice at. However, it was not secure enough to prevent the burglary early on March 25 when a stolen 2013 Hyundai Elantra was used to ram the front doors and left behind afterward. The crooks then made off in a silver SUV.

That burglary in Poway also took place in the early hours of a Monday morning.

They put at least 78 rifles and handguns into bags and they were gone in just four minutes. Investigators said they eventually tracked and capture four suspects in North Las Vegas.

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