Thieves smash walls to get to guns - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Paducah, KY

Thieves smash walls to get to guns

Thieves small walls to get to guns
BY: Erica Byfield

Paducah, Ky. --The Paducah Police Department rounded up the largest collection of stolen firearms they've seen in decades including an assault rifle and two uzis.

Detectives found a total of eight firearms.  The recovery is impressive police work but the story about how the thieves took them is even more mind blowing.

They used a sledge hammer to smash through three walls to get to the safe where the guns were kept.

It is not very often you hear thieves get lucky, but Timothy Johnston, Desmond Gaines and Marcus Gilbert all of Paducah did.

Detective Brian Kopiscke says they planned on breaking into Atlas Roofing but once inside to their surprise they hit the firearms jackpot.

"They did get lucky up until we found out about it so now they're not too lucky they're all sitting in jail" said the detective.

The police didn't catch them the way you would expect.

The alarm went off but before police arrived the guys scooped up all the guns they could carry and ran.

Then someone Kopiscke calls a Good Samaritan tipped them off and told them Johnston, Gilbert and Gaines took several firearms to a home on Martin Luther King Drive.

"We're not used to seeing this in a theft normally when we have firearm thefts its handguns, maybe a shot gun, maybe a rifle."

Kopiscke says the thieves told him they planned on selling the guns on the street.

Something he's glad they won't have the opportunity to do.

"These are dangerous weapons they have long range to them" he added.

It's also something the victim said he's pleased to hear too because he's spent years collecting these weapons.

He adds now the bad part is he'll have to dig deep in his own pocket to fix three gapping holes they left in his building.

A federal prosecutor is reviewing the evidence and may file more charges against Johnston, Gilbert and Gaines.  

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