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Thieves get away with 40 firearms in gun shop smash-and-grab as California crime wave continues

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Whitten Sales – Google Maps


Hayley Smith

Los Angeles Times

Burglars smashed the glass front door of a Garden Grove gun shop early Thursday morning and made off with approximately 40 firearms, police said.

Officers from the Garden Grove Police Department responded to a report of a burglary at Whitten Sales on Valley View Street around 12:16 a.m., authorities said in a news release.

When police arrived, they saw the front door had been shattered.

The owner of the business reported the burglary after he saw at least one thief inside the business on live surveillance video, Garden Grove Police Lt. Mario Martinez said.

Martinez could not confirm what types of guns were taken. He said the thieves stole the weapons from a safe inside the business.

Officials are concerned “anytime anybody’s business or home is burglarized,” Martinez said, “and especially when a handgun or multiple guns are taken.”

The incident comes on the heels of a spate of smash-and-grab robberies that have rocked the region in recent weeks, with thieves breaking windows and stealing cash or merchandise from high-end luxury shops, as well as smaller boutique stores and even the Del Amo Swap Meet.

Martinez said that there is “no indication” that the latest incident is related to other smash-and-grabs in Los Angeles County but that it is too soon to say for sure. Many of those robberies happened during daylight hours when businesses were open.

“Needless to say, it’s still a burglary, and it’s still a big concern of ours, obviously, with the amount of firearms that were taken,” he said.

Officials said the thieves, described only as men wearing masks, drove away in two vehicles before police arrived. The vehicles were described as BMWs, one silver and one blue.

Calls to Whitten Sales went unanswered Thursday morning. According to the company’s website, the business sells handguns, rifles and shotguns, among other items.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Garden Grove Police Department at (714) 741-5872.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

©2021 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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