Gun thieves shot at Fayetteville police as officers responded to pawnshop break-in, official says

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Fayetteville police are investigating reports of at least 40 different guns stolen from several stores during the lootings that happened Saturday night.

As of now, only three of those reports have been made public.

The reports show 35 guns were reported stolen from Academy Sports on Skibo Road.

Ace Pawn Shop on Bragg Boulevard reported gun thefts but police are still looking into the exact number stolen from that location.

Money Quick Pawn Shop on Raeford Road reported five guns stolen.

When officers got to the Raeford Road shop to investigate, the suspects were still inside and started shooting at officers, said Fayetteville Police Officer Jeremy Strickland.

“Officers responded to reports of a burglary there at the business,” Strickland said. “Once they arrived on the scene they were shot upon from people that were inside of the store.”

The officers are all OK but the suspects got away, Strickland said.

Detectives are reviewing security camera footage and working with the ATF on the investigations.

So far, Strickland says less than 50 guns in all have been reported stolen, that’s nowhere near the rumor of 500 to 1,000 stolen guns that he said has been circulating online.  

“Rumors can be dangerous,” Strickland said. “It hurts us in a way because it hinders us from doing our job effectively.”

For some of the thefts, officers are still waiting on businesses to report serial numbers from the guns, which are then put into a national database.

“We are working closely with business owners, as well as managers of those chain stores to get an exact number they have to go through their inventory which can be very time-consuming,” Strickland said.

Fayetteville police have been slammed this week with the number of looting calls, not to mention providing extra security throughout the city, according to Strickland.

They’re asking for patience with each of these investigations.

“Our detectives have not only had to work cases, they’re also working the road extra hours every day,” Strickland said. “We are doing the best that we can to investigate these crimes.”

 The pawnshop owners or managers involved in the reports did not want to speak with us about the thefts.

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