A break-in at Jet's Florida Outdoors, 9696 SW 40th St., has police looking for 26 handguns, all still unaccounted for.
''It's a fairly cut-and-dry smash-type of burglary,'' said owner Mark Siegel, whose damages amount to over $18,000.
Motion-activated cameras show the two men, faces masked in bandannas and baseball caps, as they pried the back door of the shop open with a crowbar early Wednesday morning. Familiar with the store, they went straight for the guns: semi-automatic pistols and revolvers of every caliber between .38 special and .44 magnum.
Crowbar in hand, it took multiple hits for the first man to break through the hard Lexan-plastic showcases, spilling the glass-like material across the store's floor. He then crouched down and hastily shoved a dozen guns into a small bag he held in his right hand, going from one showcase to another. The two then took turns picking up weapons, even resorting to using one of the store's own paintball gun bags to carry them. Disappearing from the camera's sight, they sped away, leaving the store's bells wailing.
When Siegel came into his store at 8 a.m., not only was he was surprised to find that only handguns had been taken, but amid the broken glass, the burglars had left detectives a clue -- their crowbar.
''At this point, the investigation is pending. We're waiting to see if there are any fingerprints coming back from that crowbar,'' said Lt. Nelson Aloy from the Kendall station.
Miami-Dade County detectives are now on the case, trying to stop the guns from being sold illegally. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Miami Field Division, are also helping track down the guns by their serial numbers.
''The only thing we can do now is to input the serial numbers into the system. The person that turns up with those firearms will be part of the investigation. They'll just help us pinpoint where these firearms came from,'' said Special Agent Carlos Baixauli of ATF.
Although the weapons might not be sold locally, Baixauli advises residents around the county to look out for individuals who may obtain handguns illegally.
''These guns are such a hot commodity, there's no telling where they're going to end up, but we need the community's assistance. Listen to people talking about getting in contact with a bunch of guns,'' said Baixauli.
''If anyone's caught with any of these guns, it'll show up in the system and they'll be arrested,'' said Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, also at the Kendall station.
Given that the operation took less that 10 minutes and that the store's rear exterior lights went out just days ago, Siegel believes that it may have been regular customers. Investigators would not comment on any possible leads.
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