Looters steal 97 guns from 3 Houston-area stores after Harvey

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Federal government officials say looters stole nearly 100 firearms from Houston-area stores in the days following Hurricane Harvey.

The thefts happened in spite of preventative measures taken by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as Harvey approached. The agency notified local licensed firearms dealers regarding the risk of firearm theft following natural disasters and advised them on best practices to secure inventory.

Once the storm hit, ATF partnered with Houston police to provide around-the-clock security to stores that sell firearms. The agency has now supplemented HPD's protection with SRT agents, which are ATF's version of SWAT agents, as a show of force should more looting occur.

Those agents are focused on the north side and 1960 corridor, where the gun stores "get hit a lot."

ATF is also partnering with the Harris County Sheriff's Office to prevent similar thefts in the county.

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