Police investigating similarities in gun shop burglaries in Florida

Port St. Lucie Police are investigating a burglary at the St. Lucie Shooting Center, Inc. on NW Concourse Place. (Port St. Lucie Police)

Port St. Lucie Police are investigating similarities in two gun shop burglaries, one in Port St. Lucie on Monday and another in Rockledge, Florida on Dec. 18.

Police say the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is also involved.

CBS12 News is also learning the bold criminals could be part of a bigger ring across our state.

A Port St. Lucie police detective says it's very troubling to think that two dozen guns—including high-powered assault rifles—are out on the street.

Surveillance video just released by Port St. Lucie police shows one of the culprits smashing a glass display case with a hammer, where the gun store owner says the burglars scooped up at least 10 Glock handguns at the St. Lucie Shooting Center about 4:45 a.m. Monday morning.

The video also shows one of the burglars leaping over a counter as he and his partner stole 15 AR-15 assault rifles before leaving the store.

“It’s gonna take multiple people, and multiple agencies to actually recover those weapons. But it’s gonna take time, it’s gonna take a lot of effort,” Detective Christina Rasko said.

Police say knowing those two dozen guns are now out there, where they could be used to commit violent crimes, is very disturbing.

“It's very troubling, that's why we have to do our best and work together with other agencies and surrounding local agencies to find these people quickly,” Rasko said.

Police say the FDLE has taken over the investigation of the gun shop burglary at the St. Lucie Shooting Center. FDLE is also looking at a gun shop break-in in Rockledge last month. Rockledge is in Brevard County, about 80 miles north of Port St. Lucie.

Police in Rockledge have released surveillance video of the gun shop burglary there on Dec. 18, 2019 and detectives are comparing the cases, looking for similarities.

“We are working hand in hand with FDLE. It's kind of a joint task force at this point,” Rasko said.

Police say they will do whatever they can to try to recover the stolen guns, including checking pawn shops.

“We have multiple agencies on this particular case, stretching out through the Treasure Coast, to include ATF. ATF has a lot of resources,” Rasko said.

The owner of St. Lucie Shooting Center in Port St. Lucie says the stolen guns are worth about $20,000.

He told CBS12 News they plan to start locking all the guns up at night in a safe to try to prevent further thefts like this.