• CMPD investigates 2 brazen break-in attempts at Charlotte gun shops

    By: Liz Foster

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Channel 9 is asking Charlotte-Mecklenburg police if two attempted break-ins at Charlotte gun shops are connected.

    Tire tracks remain on the hill behind The Gun Outlet on North Tryon Street, after someone used a stolen car to try to ram into the back of it early Wednesday morning.

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    It was the first of two attempts to drive into gun shops in Charlotte, authorities said.

    “It's crazy. I hope the guys get caught soon," Gun Outlet owner Matt Wallace.

    The second attempted break-in was at Hyatt Coin and Gun on Wilkinson Boulevard. Someone tried to ram a car into the shop's door, as well as the door of the Family Dollar store next door. The owner told Channel 9 that the would-be burglars left the car and had a getaway car.

    Eyewitness News anchor Liz Foster asked Charlotte-Mecklenburg police if they believe that the same people were responsible for both break-in attempts. A police spokesperson said the investigation is continuing.

    The would-be burglars didn't get into either store, so no guns were stolen, for which store owner Matt Wallace is thankful.

    "They're not traced. If somebody gets them out there, you never know who can get their hands on them," Wallace said.

    Hyatt Gun Shop has invested about $500,000 in security measures over its nearly 60 years in business, including motion sensors, cameras, alarms and barriers to keep someone from driving into the storefront.

    "We take every measure to keep guns from getting in the wrong hands," said Mitch Hyatt, manager of Hyatt Gun Shop.

    PHOTOS: CMPD investigate attempted gun shop break-ins

    Channel 9 has covered a rash of gun shop break-ins across the area since January.

    Channel 9 showed surveillance video last week of two men using a blowtorch to try to get into a gun shop on South Boulevard. The owner said the men still haven't been caught.

    Staff from both The Gun Outlet and Hyatt Gun & Coin told Channel 9 they handed over surveillance pictures and video to police. CMPD has not released any descriptions of the would-be burglars or said how many there are.

    In a 9 Investigation last November, police said the spike in crimes at gun shops comes from people looking to resell the weapons on the street. Eyewitness News reported that nearly 300 guns were reported stolen in the first 10 months of 2015, or nearly one a day. In that same time frame, officers seized more than 1,200 guns, more than 900 of which were used in crimes.

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