Thousands of dollars in guns stolen hours before NC gun show

North Carolina news

WBTV photo of damage made during the theft.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Police are looking for the thieves who stole thousands of dollars in weapons from a gun show over the weekend.

The Dixie Gun and Knife Show took place at the Park Expo and Conference Center on Saturday and Sunday. According to the report, people broke in around 4 a.m., which is several hours before the show started.

“Bad, bad, bad news for me,” licensed gun dealer Fred Pickler said.

Pickler has spent the past 50 years at gun shows as a licensed dealer, but the phone call he got early Saturday was a first for him.

“She said I quickly needed to come to the show the building had been broken into,” he told WBTV.

Pickler says surveillance footage showed at least two people throw a rock to shatter this back window and get inside. They then headed straight for his gun displays.

“They actually picked up an ammunition can that was laying right besides the case and they used it like a hammer they smashed the glass and they just reached in scooped the guns out and took off with them,” he said.

They grabbed 23 guns worth almost $15,000 dollars, but they dropped 12 of those guns on their way out. They ended up getting away with about $7,545 worth of guns and accessories.

Pickler suspects he was targeted.

“The criminals that did this act came to my show previously and saw my location,” he said. “They figured if they could get in the building they could make a smash and grab.”

He wants to know why security guards didn’t act sooner.

“It would’ve been boom boom boom I mean it would’ve been heard I’m satisfied I’m sure it would’ve been heard up front if they weren’t distracted by another noise like a radio or TV,” he said.

Despite what happened, Pickler decided the show must go on.

“The guns that were damaged and put back in, I reduced the price on them and put them back out for sale,” he said.

According to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, two off-duty deputies were serving as security guards when this happened. They called CMPD officers who were able to log the serial numbers for the stolen guns.

Police have not made any arrests.

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