ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. (WFLA) – The security camera video is amazing.
Just after 2 a.m. Sunday, a blue Toyota Tundra barreled through the front of “Sunshine State Armory” on Gall Boulevard in Zephyrhills.
As the driver backs out, three men wearing hoodies dash in. They load up on guns and ammo. One man runs out with an armful of long guns.
Zephyrhills Police are trying to see if this case is tied to similar crimes across the Tampa Bay area. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the suspects’ arrests.
”We don’t know that. Certainly does seem to fit the M.O. to several of those,” said Capt. Derek Brewer.
Like a smash and grab in Inverness, and another one in Tampa, and yet another heist in Lakeland.
Captain Brewer would like stores to make it tougher for crooks to get in.
“We don’t want them on the street. It’s a public safety concern. It’s a concern for us. So yeah, it’s a concern all around,” he said.
At Sunshine State Armory, the front of the store is covered with plywood. Glass shards are still in the parking lot. We noticed people inside, going over paperwork.
In the small parking lot, it’s a wonder they mustered up the speed to crash through.
People who live nearby are worried.
“They’re smashing and grabbing guns. What are the gonna do with the guns? And where are they gonna do it?” asked Sandie Mcilwaine.
“That’s crazy. It’s crazy,” said Christian Texeira.
“I can’t believe that happened like right where we usually go to eat. You never think it’s gonna happen,” said Liberty Hagan.
The thieves ditched the stolen truck along some railroad tracks and set it on fire.
The inferno melted parts and singed brush.