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Police investigating smash and grabs at pawn shops

Tumwater Pawn Brokers was robbed by three masked men after a car backed through their front entrance, smashing the door.

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Police in Lakewood and Tumwater are investigating brazen pawn shop burglaries in early morning hours this week.

Burglars backed a car through the outside wall of AAA Loans & Gun Shop in Lakewood early Monday, before smashing into several display cases and stealing 18 guns. They left behind a car that was stolen the night before, according to Lakewood police.

“It’s been a nightmare,” AAA Owner Scott Peskin said. “I wish that if they do find them, that they just put them in jail and throw away the key.”

Peskin estimates the guns alone were worth around $50,000. He also has significant structural damage. The hole in the shop’s wall is covered by a board.

Then, early Tuesday, Tumwater police were called to Tumwater Pawn Brokers after a car backed through their front entrance, smashing the door. Surveillance video captured three masked burglars entering the business, smashing a jewelry display case, and lifting four rifles from a rack. They were in and out in about 50 seconds.

“I had to crawl through the broken glass to get in,” owner Barney McClanahan said. “I can’t believe they did it.”


McClanahan, a retired detective, reviewed the surveillance video and the scene, searching for any indication he might know the criminals. He says he’s found nothing definitive.

McClanahan estimates his loss around $15,000 to $20,000. His biggest concern is the four guns that were taken.

“In the wrong hands, it’s just not good,” he said.

The Lakewood and Tumwater Police Departments have been in contact about the incidents, and are investigating a possible connection given how similarly the burglaries unfolded, according to Lakewood Police Department. As of now they have no suspects.

Surveillance cameras at Tumwater Pawn Brokers caught clear surveillance video, but the burglars enter masked, and the video does not catch a view of the car’s license plate. Both departments hope a tip from the public might lead them to the brazen burglars.

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