Larry’s Guns and Ammo, the gun store prominently located at the intersection of State Road 100 and U.S. 1 in Bunnell (on the southwest side of U.S. 1, with an image of Clint Eastwood in his scruffy Western phase prominently covering one of the store’s windows) was burglarized late Monday night. At least five shotguns were stolen, according to a Bunnell Police Department report.
The theft took place after hours on March 16. The suspects gained access to the store through a roof vent. They removed the vent’s covering, penetrated the store’s attic, removed ceiling tiles then pried back the air conditioning vent to gain access to the store, the report notes.
The store is owned by Larry Beighle, a 59-year-old Flagler Beach resident who’s owned several businesses over the years, and operated Larry’s Guns and Ammo since 2012. The store had moved one block south just a year ago, after operating on the north side of State Road 100 in a building where such ceiling access would not have been possible.
According to a Bunnell Police Department report, the store alarm went off at 9:09 p.m., dispatching a Bunnell police officer to the area. The officer parked his cruiser north of the business and checked the perimeter. Looking through the front window, he noticed a chair in the middle of the inside walkway, and ceiling tiles on the floor. He called for back-up. An additional Bunnell police officer, several units of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper assigned to Flagler responded. The trooper noted that he’d seen a dark-colored passenger vehicle in the area behind the store, but when he drove there, the car was gone.
Beighle arrived at the scene and provided police with access to the store. A K-9 unit was sent in, but no one was found. The suspects had gained access to the store and the locked office area through the ceiling. The sheriff’s office’s crime scene investigator reported to the scene and processed it, turning over the results to Bunnell police.
The five stolen shotguns had just been delivered to the store that day. They had not been placed in the store’s safe, but rather been displayed on the wall behind the counter, which is visible through the window.
The store owner told police that a family relation had been inquiring about buying a gun, but Beighle had declined the sale because his relation had a felony, making him ineligible to own a firearm, yet the individual went as far as inquiring about the store’s inventory two days before the theft. The line of questioning from his relation, Beighle told cops, had been “odd.” The day after the burglary, police learned of a conversation an inmate had overheard at the county jail, allegedly between two other inmates who were discussing robbing a gun store once they’d be back out. Nevertheless, the police had no “credible” suspects in the aftermath of the burglary.
Get a dog with some grit and a ferocious bark, he/she does not have to be mean, keep’em in the store at night and see if that does not deter burglars. Works for me!
Bob Fortier says
Great, so now there are five shotguns in criminals hands in the Bunnell area. You cannot leave unlocked guns in plain site for scumbags to get their hands on. That is such an old trick, entering via skylights or ductwork. Come on man…you have guns and ammo in their. And yes, a german shepherd dog would be a great deterrent. Most loser scumbags are afraid of them. The dog would have slowed them down and perhaps the police would’ve gotten there in time to arrest them.
have you ever heard of operation FAST and FURIOUS, five shot guns is the least of our worries
Since I live in the vicinity of those shotguns, I would say that “FAST AND FURIOUS” is NOT on the top of my hit parade of things to immediately worry about. And I find that comment to be a pathetic attempt to divert away from the possible implications of our need to examine our attitudes towards guns in this country. I would say that the ball should placed in the court of this business owner to better secure his business. His inability or unwillingness to do so could affect us all in a very real way.