Multiple agencies still working on pawnshop burglary
Two men are in custody, charged with burglary of a commercial building, in the Saturday, June 7, break-in at the Beneficial Pawn Shop on West Bankhead, during which 18 handguns were stolen.
The case is far from over, however, as law enforcement agencies work to track down the weapons, according to investigator Chris Glasson.
Charged are Matthew Richards, 23, and Andrew Bolden, 19, both of Ashland. Bond for each is set at $100,000.
Glasson said they had put information about the stolen weapons on the NCIC national crime information computer system. “And we got a hit from Memphis,” he said. An officer there had just encountered one of the stolen guns in the possession of a suspect.
Glasson called the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau got involved as well.
Then, officers got a tip and were able to place the suspects in this area at the approximate time of the break-in. But what likely sealed the case is that one of the suspects cut himself during the break-in and officers were able to keep samples. The blood tied Andrew Bolden to the pawnshop break-in, Glasson said.
Glasson went with Benton County deputies and ATF officers to pick up the two and during a brief scuffle during the arrest and search, officers found another of the stolen handguns in the pocket of one of the suspects.
“They probably sold most of the guns out on the street,” Police Chief Chris Robertson said and officers are looking into possible gang involvement.
The chief did not indicate he expected more arrests directly connected to the burglary, but that the multi-agency effort to get the stolen guns off the street continues to be active.