A pair of hooded burglary suspects used a vehicle to ram their way into a Lakeville gun shop and fled with several handguns, authorities said Tuesday. The suspects have yet to be found.
This is at least the third time since late April that gun thieves have targeted Twin Cities shops. So far, authorities have yet to find evidence to tie the same suspects to the three incidents.
The latest crime occurred at Dakota Custom Guns, 17400 Kenwood Trail, about 6:45 a.m. Friday and was captured on high-quality video surveillance. It shows the vehicle, a Ford Flex, bashing into a rear service entrance and one of the suspects pulling back the door to gain entry.
Once inside, the thieves in hoodies stole several handguns, a statement from Deputy Police Chief John Kornmann said.
Kornmann characterized the tally of guns stolen as "under 10 ... none of them fully automatic and at this moment, none recovered."
The shop's operators have turned over the weapons' identifying information for tracking in state and national databases, the deputy chief said, should any of them surface anywhere in the country.
Police pointed out that the car had a spare tire on the front right. The car also has damage to the front left fender and might have damage elsewhere.
One suspect appears to be about 6 feet 5 inches tall, has a distinct gait, and was wearing red shoes and jeans that were cropped or rolled up on one leg. The other suspect is roughly 5 feet 8 inches tall and has a slim build.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call 911 or Lakeville police at 952-985-4800.
"Obviously, somebody knows these people," Kornmann said.
Police are trying to further enhance the video in hopes of finding more clues, including the license plate for the vehicle. But the deputy chief cautioned, "This is not 'CSI,' it's not like television. Pixels are pixels."
On April 27, a break-in attempt occurred about 2:15 a.m. at Gunstop Reloading Supplies on Excelsior Boulevard in Minnetonka between Williston and Eden Prairie roads. No entry was made, and no arrests have been announced.
About an hour later and roughly 13 miles to the northeast, burglars successfully broke into Bill's Gun Shop & Range on W. Broadway in Robbinsdale just north of 40th Avenue N.
Police said someone backed a vehicle into the store. John Monson, who owns Bill's, added that the burglars were inside "a very short period of time" and stole a small number of guns.
Investigators searched a property in south Minneapolis weeks later, and two juveniles were arrested and one subsequently charged, said Robbinsdale Police Sgt. Ryan Seibert. The sergeant said he couldn't reveal more because the suspects are minors and the investigation continues.