CLEARWATER, Fla. (FOX 13) - More than two dozen guns were stolen from a gun store in Clearwater early Tuesday morning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
The entire burglary was caught on surveillance video. Authorities are now searching for the people responsible.
Arms For Defense store owner Paul Digirolamo believes this wasn’t the first robbery of this kind for these three suspects. Now, he’s hoping someone will recognize the people in the video and turn them in.
In the video, you can see the burglars break the glass out of the front door and rush into the store with empty bags.
“They grabbed all the guns they could get in their arms and went out the door and dumped them in the trunk of their car," Digirolamo said.
Using a sledgehammer, the suspects shattered glass displays and swiped a total of 27 guns from display cases and from walls which are now nearly empty.
“I wasn’t really shocked about it. I’m saddened. The first thing that came to mind is the worst thing about having a gun stolen: it is immediately in the hands of a criminal," Digirolamo said.
Digirolamo has been in business for over 10 years. He’s been operating out of a location on U.S. 19 in Clearwater for the last two years.
Though he has never had any issues before, he said law enforcement did warn him he may soon become a target, which is why he says he installed a top notch security system. Now he plans to increase security even more by installing a shatter-proof plexiglass door.
“I believe that these guys are pros. They’ve done it before. They were brazen, but efficient," Digirolamo said. "Certainly, they have a black market already established for those firearms which is unfortunate."
Cameras showed the burglars leaving in a dark colored Toyota Camry with tags containing the numbers 699.
“They did leave some evidence. We hope they are going to be able to catch these guys pretty soon," Digirolamo said.
The evidence includes a shopping bag with the receipt from a nearby Circle K gas station, where they may have bought some of the supplies used in the break-in.
Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to call the Pinellas County Sheriffs Office at 727-582-6200.