Officials with the Atlanta Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced that a reward of up to $5,000 will be offered for information leading to the capture of those responsible for a firearms theft at Kemp's Pharmacy, a federal firearm licensee in Claxton.
"When guns fall into the wrong hands, the potential for violence increases," said Special Agent in charge, Gregory Gant.
The June 12 burglary began just before 1 a.m. at the Duval Street business when thieves smashed in the front glass door with a metal 55-gallon barrel, ATF's report said. The thieves left the scene with 26 handguns and an AK-47 style rifle in tow. Footage from a nearby security camera showed two black male subjects fleeing on foot from Kemp's Pharmacy at the time of the theft.
"Gun thieves play a critical and deadly role in the chain of violence, and ATF places a major emphasis on solving these crimes," Gant said. "Investigative experience has shown that felons, gang members and juveniles are some of the most common customers for stolen guns in the underground economy of our streets," he said.
The theft instigated a collaborative investigation, being conducted by ATF, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Evans County Sheriff's Office, and the Claxton Police Department.
"Solving this crime will be a team effort, among law enforcement and concerned members of the public," said Gant.
Investigators seek public aid in identifying the subjects involved and in providing information regarding the location of any or all of the stolen firearms.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call ATF's toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477). Callers can remain anonymous.