Greene County

Police search for gun store burglars

GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. - Police are searching for two suspects that broke into a local gun shop.

Around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, two people broke the glass door at Greeneville Outfitters on Asheville Hhighway. Store president Dave Peterson said the suspects waited 20 minutes and then came back. "They were probably checking to see what we have for an alarm system. A lot of companies have a glass-break alarm," he explained.

After about spending four minutes breaking the glass on the door, the suspects got in and that's when the loud alarm went off. The suspects only spent about 45 seconds inside the store. Peterson believes they were looking for guns.

One of the suspects was carrying a heavy-duty bolt cutter. Peterson believes his intention was to cut the steel cable that usually locks a wall of guns. However, the cables were nowhere to be found. "When we're not here, those guns are completely locked up and locked down. There is physically no way that anyone can get any of those guns out of this store," he said.

The suspects moved into the back storage room and according to the Greene County theft report, they ransacked the refrigerator. Peterson believes they thought it was a pistol safe. "We have a black fridge where we keep our live bait worms, cream for my coffee and my wife's yogurt. They must have been surprised when all they found was worms," he said.

At the last second on the way back out, both men grabbed two crossbows, valued at about $1,100.

Because of the burglary and because of current events, Peterson said he and his wife are on their guard. "From the lack of guns available and lack of ammo available and the economy, we've been put on high alert by ATF agents that we can expect an increase in the number of break-ins," he said. Peterson said this is a good reminder to all gun owners to keep guns in a secure and locked location.

Greeneville Outfitters has shared the surveillance video online on Facebook and Youtube. By Tuesday afternoon, it had more than 1,700 views. Outside surveillance cameras got a picture of a small, white car and a partial picture of the license plate.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Greene County Sheriff's Department at (423) 798-1800.

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