HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Three suspects are facing federal charges accused in a massive gun heist at a Southwest Houston gun store on Tuesday.
Anthony Cannon, 20, appeared in probable cause court Thursday afternoon. Working a tip from a confidential informant, cops recovered 32 of the stolen guns from his apartment. Police say they witnessed guns being sold out of his apartment on Selinsky. Cannon has previous convictions for car theft and burglary.
Now, at least seven other accomplices are still on the run. Investigators hope the three accused crooks already in custody will lead them to the rest.
The front door to the "Carter's Country" Gun Store on Wilcrest in Southwest Houston was no match for the power of a pick-up truck. Customers are now reacting after at least 10 brazen thieves wearing hoodies, masks and gloves, stormed the store early Tuesday morning.
“Total shock. I could not believe, I thought their security was tight and they were not at risk for something like that,” said Charles Sumill.
The bandits broke glass cases with hammers taking handguns and rifles. 85 guns were stolen in just 2 and a half minutes.
“We just can't let people get away with robbing stores like this,” said customer Jake Lee. “Makes me think about where these guns might end up going to end up somebody rob me as soon as I get home from work.”
The thieves ditched the pick-up truck a block away, and got away possibly in a late model Chevy Traverse SUV. The ATF says three suspects have been arrested and several of the stolen guns recovered. The rest of the stolen weapons could be headed to the black market.
“They're going to be used for criminal intent. Whether those guns are going to Mexico to fuel the cartels, whether they keep the guns for themselves to commit further acts of violence or whether they sell them or trade them, nothing good is going to come from these guns on the street," said ATF Special Agent Nicole Strong.
25,000 guns are lost or stolen from gun dealers every year according to the department of justice.
“It's really difficult to stop, you have to securitize your building like a fort," said Patrick Woods from Spring Guns & Ammo in the Woodlands.
Their store in Spring was hit about two years ago. Fifty guns were stolen and the thieves were never caught. They improved security by blocking direct vehicle access to the front door and haven't been hit since.
“These criminals practice quite a bit of ingenuity unfortunately and find a way, and it's up to us to constantly be a little bit smarter continue to adapt and evolve,” said Woods.
The three suspects in custody are now facing federal charges. The judge sealed the case so the ATF can’t provide more information.
If you know anything about the thieves still on the run, call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.