EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — In the four years that Drakes Fine Sporting Arms in West El Paso has been open, owner Jeremy Drake never felt that his store would be burglarized.
Drake told KTSM 9 News that he was shocked to find the store broken into and eight firearms stolen on Aug. 11.
“We’ve never really had anything like that happen before — never felt threatened that that might actually happen — so it was kind of a new feeling for us,” said Drake.
He told KTSM that the store specializes in hunting guns; not exactly the type of firearms that thieves target.
“We don’t really deal in the market of firearms that we would think people would want to steal,” said Drake. “You know, you’re talking people who steal firearms, they are typically going to be criminals who want to sell the guns to other criminals (that are) more desirable guns than what we do.”
As we previously reported, Drakes was one of four firearm stores to be burglarized in the Borderland between late-July and mid-August. Investigators say they have arrested two Las Cruces men believed to be connected to three of the burglaries. Drake says they’re more prepared now.
“We’re doing a lot of things differently. So, you know, hopefully it never happens again, I hope it’s not a problem in the future for any of us,” said Drake.
According to Chris Mears, investigator and spokesperson for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) says “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
“However we can help FFL’s (federal firearms licensee) or firearms businesses make themselves a harder target to help reduce the chances of them being a victim and, if they are a victim, reduce the number of firearms stolen,” said Mears.
Mears says firearms businesses must secure guns, however, ATF does not regulate how they do so. Although, they do make recommendations, said Mears.
According to Mears, there has been an increase nationwide of firearm store burglaries, adding that the four burglaries in the Borderland are still under investigation.