Sunday morning, just after 2 a.m., a robbery suspect drove a blue Toyota pickup through the front glass of a gun store named “Sunshine State Armory.” The store in Zephyrhills, Florida has a surveillance camera and captured the burglary on video.
The blue pickup crashes through the store and then backs out. Three suspects, on foot, wore hoodies, gloves, and masks and entered the store gathering all of the guns and ammunition the trio could walk out with. The surveillance video of the robbery has been released by police to help identify the suspects but the hoodies, gloves, and masks hinder being able to identify race or any special markings–tattoos the burglars may have.
While the four suspects have not been identified or apprehended, the vehicle that was used in the robbery was found by the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. It was set on fire in a wooded area around 6th Avenue and Airport Rd in Zephyrhills. Police are investigating similar cases in the Tampa Bay area to see if they may be related.
“We don’t know that. Certainly does seem to fit the M.O. to several of those,” Capt. Derek Brewer said.
Three very similar burglaries occurred in Inverness, Tampa, and in Lakeland.
Captain Brewer would like gun stores make it harder for criminals to get in.
“We don’t want them on the street. It’s a public safety concern. It’s a concern for us. So yeah, it’s a concern all around,” he said.
People who live close are concerned.
“They’re smashing and grabbing guns,” Sandie Mcilwaine said. “What are they gonna do with the guns? And where are they gonna do it?”
Another neighbor, Liberty Hagan said, “I can’t believe that happened like right where we usually go to eat. You never think it’s gonna happen.”