BPSO: Despite swift arrests, 63 firearms stolen in Benton gun store heist remain unrecovered

Crime

BENTON, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Bossier sheriff’s investigators say surveillance video helped identify and quickly arrest the suspects in the theft of more than 60 firearms from a Benton gun store, but the stolen weapons have not been recovered.

According to the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, detectives are continuing their investigation into the burglary of the Guns-N-Ammo Store in the 5600 block of Benton Road, which happened in the early hours of Sunday, November 14.

Deputies responding to the alarm going off at the store arrived to find someone had broken in through a hole cut in the roof.

“Detectives say one of the thieves is said to have walked on the hanging lights of the store, which helped him avoid the motion detectors,” according to a statement released by BPSO late Friday afternoon. “Surveillance shows him placing some of the weapons in a bag and placing the bag at the front door of the store, without triggering the alarm. He is then seen grabbing an armful of guns as he exited the store, thus setting off the alarm, with the getaway car backed up to the door.”

“This ninja actually cut a hole in the roof, the ceiling of the building, lowered himself down, kind of hustled all the gun in one area there behind the counter, and then opened the door, girlfriend meets him, they throw ’em in the car and head out,” Sheriff Julian Whittington told KTAL/KMSS.

The store owner told detectives about 63 weapons were stolen in the heist. The sheriff’s office said the haul consisted of 62 handguns and one long rifle.

Through the surveillance video and other investigative techniques, the sheriff says detectives were able to quickly identify the two suspects, 26-year-old Salih Reed and 23-year-old Jessica Moore, as the primary suspects.

“We have a twelve-hour rule around here, I like to say, and that’s from the time a crime is committed until we have an arrest, I expect ’em arrested within 12 hours and they cut this one close!”

Both were arrested 11 hours and 25 minutes later in Alexandria after police executed a search warrant at an apartment in the 2100 block of Simmons Street, according to Alexandria police. They say weapons were recovered in that search, but none of them were the ones stolen from the Benton store. The Chevrolet Impala they were driving was also found and impounded.

“We had a lot of help Rapides parish sheriff’s office, the Alexandria PD, Louisiana State Police, the ATF was involved, the (U.S.) Marshall’s Task Force, everybody said, ‘We’re going to get them,’ and we all came together and we got them.”

Moore has since been transferred and booked into the Bossier Maximum Security Facility with a $320,000 bond. Silah Reed remains in the Rapides Parish jail on unrelated charges, awaiting transportation to Bossier. His bond is also set at $320,000.

As for the search for the stolen guns, the sheriff says the investigation continues.

“We’re turning every rock trying to find them. We’re not going to stop ’til we do.”

Bossier Sheriff’s Office detectives are urging anyone with information concerning this burglary to contact the Bossier Sheriff’s Office Criminal Division at (318) 965-3418.

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