No one likes a crook. Most gun people feel the same way about the BATFE some days. There’s an exception to that, however, and that’s when the boys and BATFE are busting real criminals.
That’s just what they did in Colorado when they took down a crew responsible for hundreds of firearm threats.
The ATF arrested 17 members of crews suspected of stealing hundreds of firearms from Colorado gun shops.
So far in 2017, over 400 guns have been stolen in Colorado, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Arrests for those thefts have been made in connection to burglaries at several gun shops across the state, including South Platte Tactical gun store in Adams County, Top Dollar Pawn Shop in El Paso County, Best Way Sales in Baca County, Shooter Ready in Jefferson County, Dragon Arms in El Paso County, and Parker Arms in Jefferson County.
“These are no property crimes. These are life and death crimes. Stolen guns go straight into the hands of criminals, not hunters and target shooters,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. “The people who bring this violence into our communities will be introduced to federal justice, up close and personal, for a long time.”
Troyer has a point. After all, we know that criminals in places like Chicago buy their guns on the black market. Guns don’t generally end up there after being bought legally. No, they end up there after they’re stolen.
Stolen firearms hurt the entire gun community, and not just because they’re no longer available for purchase. These guns are then used in crimes, crimes that get reported on and presented as if all guns are the problem. They’re not and anyone with half a brain knows that as well.
By taking down guys like this who steal guns and flip them over for illegal sale, it’s the epitome of the term “win.”
Among their victims was Dragon Arms, owned and operated by Mel “Dragon Man” Bernstein, the self-described most heavily armed man in the country who was robbed in late August. The crew allegedly stole Bernstein’s truck while he was out to dinner, they smashed into the front of the store.
One of the more interesting suspects arrested however was Viet Trinh. If his name isn’t familiar, then perhaps it’s the fact that he was arrested after being a complete moron by posting selfies of himself with the stolen guns. Master criminals, they’re not. However, crooks don’t have to be Ocean’s Eleven to be effective. Brute force tactics like smashing in through the front seem to be effective enough.
Further, these smash-and-grab robberies of gun stores have been happening with alarming frequency, and it’s unlikely the arrest of this crew will do nearly enough to curb it. After all, California also has a problem with these kinds of crimes taking place.
At least there’s one fewer (alleged) crew out there these days. It also helps instill hope that other such groups may be apprehended by BATFE agents soon enough. It won’t happen soon enough, though.