The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Kansas City Field Division is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information on this week's theft at Bass Pro Shops in Independence.
Just after 3 a.m. Thursday, Independence Police responded to an intrusion alarm from Bass Pro at 18001 Bass Pro Drive in Independence. Police discovered several long guns were stolen during a burglary.
“We know the exact number of firearms taken,” says ATF investigator and Public Information Officer John Ham. “but we are not releasing the information at this time due to the ongoing investigation.”
Ham added that the types of firearms stolen were all long guns, such as rifles and shotguns. None of them were handguns, such as pistols or revolvers.
“All handguns at the location are stored in a vault like a bank.”
He also said the stolen guns are believed to have trigger locks on them, which could cause significant damage to the guns someone attempts to remove them.
Asked if Bass Pro Shop has overnight security guards, Ham said “...not to my knowledge they (Bass Pro Shop) have a physical security presence, but they do have surveillance equipment. From the surveillance footage, it reveals more than one person. But an exact number has not been determined.”
Ham said that given Bass Pro Shop’s location off of Interstate 70 and Missouri 291, people commuting on those roadways – despite the time of night – could have witnessed suspicious activity and not have realized a crime was taking place. “Those specific roads are heavily traveled regardless of what time.” He also said the bureau is following several leads.
The investigation is being conducted by both ATF and Independence Police. Anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the burglary and theft at Bass Pro Shop is urged to call 1-800-ATF-GUNS or Independence Police at 816-325-7300.