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Third pawn shop smash and grab has investigators sensing connection

Burglars bust into a pawn shop in the South Sound (Surveillance photo via Tumwater Pawn Brokers)

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Investigators say three pawn shop smash and grabs in the South Sound were likely connected. Now they’re searching for whoever did it.

A stolen Honda from Federal Way smashed through the entrance of I5 Guns & Ammo near Lacey around 2:45 a.m. Friday, and four burglars emerged wearing masks and gloves. They ran into the store and stole several rifles and handguns, all in under one minute, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

They couldn’t say how many weapons were taken.

“They’re definitely organized and know what they’re doing,” Sgt. Carla Carter said. “They’re efficient and very brazen.”

Ten days prior, another vehicle backed through the entrance to Tumwater Pawn Brokers. Surveillance cameras caught three masked burglars smash into a jewelry case and lift four rifles from the rack.

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

24 hours earlier, burglars backed through AAA Loans & Gun Shop in Lakewood before smashing into several display cases and stealing at least 18 guns. They left behind a car that was stolen the night before, according to Lakewood Police.

Sgt. Carter says they believe the same subjects committed all three burglaries given the extremely similar techniques used to commit the crimes.

Several agencies are working together to identify suspects. ATF is offering a reward, according to Sgt. Carter. She says they would monitor the trafficking of any firearms from these thefts.

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