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Saturday, 26 July 2008

police pursued a white pickup truck suspected as the getaway vehicle in the Don's Guns & Galleries burglary

city's most high-profile gun shop was hit by thieves who used a stolen car early Friday to bash through a wall and make off with pistols, at least one assault rifle and ammunition.Late Friday, police pursued a white pickup truck suspected as the getaway vehicle in the Don's Guns & Galleries burglary, leading to the detention of four suspects.The pursuit began about 9 p.m. by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers near 10th Street and German Church Road and ended at Colonywood and Summerwood drives in Cumberland, during which two officers were slightly hurt, according to a police news release.The driver was taken into custody, and at least one firearm was recovered.A short time later, a search warrant was used at a residence in the 800 block of Belhaven Drive, about five blocks from where the pursuit began. Three other suspects were taken into custody there, police said, adding that items found in the residence were linked to gun thefts from Don's Guns, 3807 Lafayette Road.
Names of the suspects, three men and a teenage boy, were not immediately released.
Exactly how many guns were snatched from Don's was uncertain. With an inventory of more than 5,000 weapons, store officials said it will take awhile to get a solid count.Four thieves ran through the store in search of specific types of weapons, said IMPD spokesman Sgt. Paul Thompson. The thieves were in the store for less than a minute, said Don's Guns President Brenda Duety, and were caught on video camera.
The theft comes as police are combating a surge in gun violence that has left more than a dozen people dead so far this month."We're very concerned," Thompson said before Friday night's arrests, "because they had access to some very dangerous, high-capacity, high-powered weapons, just exactly what we don't want to see on the streets."Store owner Don Davis, known for his enthusiastic TV commercials, said this is the latest of many store burglaries he's seen during his 35 years in the business. In 1997, a clerk at Davis' Greenwood store was shot and killed during a burglary.Friday, the men stole a 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse from the nearby Ray Skillman dealership and crashed it through the side wall of the gun store, Lt. Jeff Duhamell said.Surveillance cameras captured images of three men busting through a wall, climbing out of the car and grabbing guns from the Northwestside store about 5:10 a.m. A fourth man was driving the getaway vehicle, a white Chevrolet dual-axle pickup, Duhamell said.
The burglars partially covered their faces, but they left fingerprints and other evidence, Davis said. At least one burglar suffered a cut breaking through a glass display case, Davis said, and left drops of blood at the scene.
Davis said Friday afternoon he would give anyone who helped catch the thieves free use of a shooting range for a year.
"They're headed for jail," Davis said. "You can't break into a Don's Guns and get away with it."



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