Authorites offering reward for information in gun shop robberies

Authorities are looking for leads in a series of gun  hop smash-and-dash robberies, and they are putting their money on it.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has offered a $5,000 reward to solve the break-ins at South Mississippi gun stores.

Authorities say the gun thief went from Gautier to Ocean Springs before making a final stop in D’Iberville.

At Highway 90 Pawn and Gun Shop in Gautier on Friday night, the suspect backed his truck into the glass doors, ran inside, busted the display cases with his fists and then took off with nine hand guns.

He was in and out of the shop within about 20 seconds.

“We don’t know at this point the suspect and what his motive is to have these weapons, but we do know they are on the street and it could present a problem for our citizens,” Gautier Police Chief Dante Elbin said.

About two hours after that break in, the alarm sounded at Cook’s Gun Shop in D’Iberville. The scene was a repeat, the suspect got in the same way, busted the display cases, stuffed nine handguns in his backpack and then ran out.

Shop owner Kenneth Cook said, “It’s just like someone breaking into your house and raping your daughter, except not quite as bad. We take it personal. I feel responsible for the guns and feel obligated to help get the guns back.”

Cook said the break-in caused $8,000 to $10,000 in damage

In between the two break-ins, police say the burglar tried to get inside a third shop, Jerry’s Irons and Pawn in Ocean Springs. Investigators said the brick around the glass door kept the burglar from being able to bust the glass with his truck and get inside.

Authorities suspect the man planned the break-ins and rammed his truck into three businesses in 1½ hours.

ATF Resident Agent in Charge Joel Lee said the guns have fallen into the hands of someone who apparently can’t get them legally.

“We have numerous safety concerns,” Lee said. “The biggest is firearms could fall into the hands of the criminal element.”

Lee said the other thing investigators are honing in on to try and catch the culprit is someone trying to sell the stolen guns.

Pastrami and perseverance: Grocer shows American spirit

After days and days and days (etc.) of seemingly endless tragic news, there is an item out of California that should not only put a smile on your face, but also reaffirm your faith in Americans’ ability to persevere — and profit.

The story involves a burglary of a grocery store last month in Redding, Calif. The store’s security cameras captured a man breaking out the window of Kent’s Meats and Groceries. But, the attempt was botched, and provided a good laugh at the crook’s expense when he fell twice while fleeing.

In an example of true American entrepreneurial spirit, the store’s owner, Kent Pfrimmer, had a brilliant idea — incorporate the break-in footage in an advertisement for his store.

According to the newspaper Record Searchlight, the ad shows the perpetrator throwing something at the store’s glass. After the glass shatters, an image of a pastrami appears, followed by a voice that says: “So good, some people will do just about anything to get more.”

Is that not genius?

God bless America.