MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Adam Mohamed estimates thieves walked out of his Middletown store with more than $75,000 worth of hand guns, cell phones and other products after breaking in early Saturday morning. He's since joined the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in offering a reward for information on the burglary.
The bulk of that value was in cell phones, but he said he’s more concerned about helping Middletown Police and federal investigators track down the stolen weapons.
“We really don’t care about the iPhones or anything,” Mohamed, the owner of NYC 3, said. “It’s more that the firearms are in the street. That’s the big reward we’re giving is for information about the guns.”
Mohamed says he is offering a $10,000 reward for information about the stolen guns. That is in addition to an existing reward being offered by the ATF. The ATF and the National Shooting Sports Foundation are offering a $12,500 reward together.
“One stolen firearm is a big number because, I can guarantee you, they’re not going into law abiding citizens’ hands,” said Frank Occhipinti, resident agent in charge of the ATF’s Cincinnati Field Office. “They’re going to enter the black market and they’re going to be used for nefarious reasons.”
The ATF released surveillance images of suspects it believes were involved in the crime, although it is trying to determine how many people were involved and exactly how many weapons were stolen. The burglary happened around 2:40 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15 at the NYC 3 store on Roosevelt Blvd. in Middletown.
“We truly do hope that somebody does come forward with information leading to the arrest or identification of these individuals,” Occhipinti said. “We know people in the community or people watching your broadcast, hopefully, can or will recognize at least some of the features on some of these individuals. We hope that our reward entices some individuals to come forward. If not for the money, for the public safety of everyone around us.”
According to investigators and Mohamed, the stolen firearms were mostly Glock hand guns and were being stored in a glass display case prior to the burglary.
“The fact that they were behind the display case and not stored away was concerning to me, as an individual, as it should be for everyone else,” Occhipinti said. “But we don’t regulate that.”
Mohamed said since the burglary, he's changed that. He now stores the firearms for sale in his shop in a secure safe.
“Right now we’ve learned a lesson to just keep them away,” Mohamed said.
Anyone with information about the burglary should call the ATF at 1.888.ATF.TIPS (888.283.8477) or find information about submitting a tip online.