Owner of Ventura gun shop speaks out about brazen smash-and-grab

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The owner of a Ventura gun shop targeted by criminals on Easter isn't taking any more chances. He stayed in his store overnight, armed and wearing a bullet-resistant vest. (KABC)

The owner of a Ventura gun shop targeted by criminals on Easter isn't taking any more chances. He stayed in his store overnight, armed and wearing a bullet-resistant vest.

Two thieves rammed a truck into the entrance of Red Seal Arms Guns and Ammo on the 100 block of N. Ashwood Avenue around 4 a.m. Sunday.

The crime was all caught on surveillance cameras inside the store. The footage shows a truck ramming through the steel gates, hitting them twice before breaking through.


The video shows two suspects running in. One uses a rifle to smash a glass case before grabbing a bunch of handguns. The other suspect gets briefly stuck while carrying out a load of rifles.

The smash-and-grab job was over in less than a minute.

The gun store is now being boarded up.

"We're going to try to protect it against anything but a tank," said store owner Tony Nader.

Nader said he spent the night in his store, wearing a bullet-resistant vest.

"I had two of my cousins come out with me. We were armed and ready for anything that could have happened after the robbery," Nader said.

Detective Tank Spears with the Ventura Police Department said the suspects dropped some weapons on their way out, which police are gathering evidence from. Officer have also canvassed the area for other security cameras.

"It's a very high priority with us right now to track down where these guns went. We definitely don't want them in the hands of the wrong people," Spears said.

Investigators said they found a burned-out semi-trailer near the area Monday morning that might be connected to the gun store break-in.

Police said the suspects started their crime spree about 15 minutes before the gun store robbery with a break-in at Mega Mart Check Cashing on Main Street, swiping cash and other items.

"You don't just happen to have a have a truck and go, 'Oh look, there's a gun shop!' No. They planned it," said Cheryl Brogdin, who owns the store directly next to the gun store.

As businesses in the strip mall started to reopen after the Easter holiday, owners saw the damage for the first time.

"It's sad that people have to steal from people who are hardworking, trying to run a business. It just makes me sad," Brogdin said.

Nader said he can replace the material things that were stolen, but the thieves took something else that he can't get back.

"Only thing I lost is my two nieces not having an Easter," Nader said.

Nader said he plans on staying in his store every night until his shop is secure enough to reopen. He noted that one of the first things that he plans to do when the repairs are made is to install outdoor security cameras.

Police said they're in communication with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to possibly join the investigation.
Related Topics:
newsburglarycar crashbusinessgunssurveillance video
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