Detectives believe it happened between 1 and 2 am at Collectors Firearms in the 3300 block of Fondren. Police say once inside the store, the thieves were like "kids in a candy store." They ripped off an undisclosed number of guns and rifles, plus ammunition.
Ditched on the ground in a narrow alley just outside Collectors Firearms were hundreds of rounds of ammunition and what appears to be a tactical type rifle similar to an AR-15. The price tag said it would sell for almost $1,200. Police can't or won't say how many weapons the thieves actually stole.
HPD Officer Jason Angeli said, "It was so fast, in and out. You're probably looking at less than a minute."
Investigators with HPD'S Westside burglary and theft division say two men punched their way through the cinderblock wall using a sledgehammer. They left that behind too, along with a hole about three feet wide by three feet tall, just big enough to squeeze in and out, virtually undetected.
"It's very concerning when you have rifles, guns or handguns that go into hands," said Officer Angeli. "We don't know who these types of characters are – are they good people or bad people."
Detectives say the two men did trigger a burglar alarm on the building. But police were not dispatched immediately. Police would not say why, saying that is currently part of the investigation. They were not called to the scene until 7:20am.
Customer Ken Sullivan said, "If someone is using a gun illegally, they should throw the book at him."
Customers are fearful about who will get hold of the weapons.
"As a gun owner, a homeowner and a business owner, I'm very concerned about it," Sullivan said.
Police say they have surveillance video showing the two men inside. They haven't yet released it. The thieves apparently wore masks and hoodies. But if you know anything about the crime, investigators ask that you call in a tip to help catch the crooks.