Hundreds of firearms looted during Katrina


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Preacherman
December 15, 2005, 10:22 AM
I'm posting this article not just because it's interesting and gun-related, but because many stolen firearms have begun showing up in pawnshops and elsewhere in northern Louisiana. I wouldn't be surprised if some had made it into neighboring states, and anywhere else that Katrina refugees ended up. If you're offered a gun from Louisiana, it might be worth checking a bit more than usual, to make sure that you're not buying stolen property.


From the New Orleans Times-Picayune (http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/metro/index.ssf?/base/news-12/113463368531310.xml):

600 firearms looted in La. during hurricane chaos

Rewards are offered to round up guns

Thursday, December 15, 2005

By Michelle Hunter

Sounding an alarm about more than 600 firearms looted from Louisiana pawnshops, stores and other gun dealers in the chaotic days after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Crimestoppers Inc. and several local law enforcement agencies have teamed up to try to track down the stolen weapons.

Tipsters can receive a reward of up to $2,500 for the arrest and indictment of anyone responsible for the gun thefts from 20 businesses in the New Orleans area, Crimestoppers Executive Director Darlene Cusanza said. The public also can collect a separate reward of up to $2,500 for the recovery of stolen weapons, she said.

"This is an opportunity for citizens to step forward . . . and help us take the firearms off of the streets," she said Wednesday, surrounded by representatives from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the New Orleans, Gretna and Kenner police departments; and the sheriff's offices for Jefferson and St. John the Baptist parishes.

Though the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, the Gretna Police Department and a handful of agencies took steps to remove and secure some firearms from businesses before and after the storm, looters still managed to find weapons to steal. Of the 20 stores burglarized in Louisiana, seven were in Orleans Parish, eight in Jefferson, four in St. Bernard and one in St. John, according to ATF Special Agent Austin Banks.

Looters made off with 75 to 100 firearms from BJ's Pawn Shop on Jefferson Highway in Jefferson before burning the store to the ground in the first few days after Katrina made landfall Aug. 29, owner Bill Jefferson said. Although he put all the handguns away in a safe, the thieves broke a cable lock and stole all the rifles and shotguns there, he said.

Thieves also got past a steel door at his Gretna location, stealing 50 firearms, including some AK-47 assault rifles and pistols, Johnson said.

Hurricane-related gun looting wasn't just a local problem. Another 400 firearms were stolen from businesses in Mississippi and Alabama, according to Robert Browning, the ATF's assistant special agent in charge.

Of the 1,000 guns looted from all three states, only 137 have been recovered. The guns have been found in Georgia, Arizona, Texas and Mississippi, but the vast majority have turned up in Louisiana, Browning said.

An unidentified New Orleans man recently was pulled over by police in Decatur, Ga., and found with one of the looted guns, Browning said. A search of a New Orleans home connected to the man turned up three more stolen guns. That case is still under investigation, he said.

Serial numbers from the pillaged firearms have been entered into a national database that can be accessed by law enforcement agencies around the country.

But Cusanza urged citizens to contact Crimestoppers or authorities if they have any information about specific stolen guns or related burglaries.

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Janitor
December 15, 2005, 10:28 AM
"This is an opportunity for citizens to step forward . . . and help us take the firearms off of the streets,"
Wait a minute.

I would have thought the the goal would be to get stolen property back into the hands of its legal owner(s).
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Lone_Gunman
December 15, 2005, 10:37 AM
I wonder how many of the guns were looted by the NOPD?

hso
December 15, 2005, 10:41 AM
Yep. I gotta agree with Janitor.

"This is an opportunity for citizens to step forward . . . and help us take the firearms off of the streets,", indicates an infuriating perspective.

Why don't they make the descriptions and serial numbers available to the public if they really want help getting these guns back to the owners.

Harry Stone
December 15, 2005, 10:54 AM
Who wants to bet that "getting the guns off the streets" means an amnesty and then an auction with the city keeping the money?

jsalcedo
December 15, 2005, 07:49 PM
600 firearms looted in La. during hurricane chaos
Rewards are offered to round up guns
Thursday, December 15, 2005
By Michelle Hunter
East Jefferson bureau
Sounding an alarm about more than 600 firearms looted from Louisiana pawnshops, stores and other gun dealers in the chaotic days after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Crimestoppers Inc. and several local law enforcement agencies have teamed up to try to track down the stolen weapons.

Tipsters can receive a reward of up to $2,500 for the arrest and indictment of anyone responsible for the gun thefts from 20 businesses in the New Orleans area, Crimestoppers Executive Director Darlene Cusanza said. The public also can collect a separate reward of up to $2,500 for the recovery of stolen weapons, she said.

"This is an opportunity for citizens to step forward . . . and help us take the firearms off of the streets," she said Wednesday, surrounded by representatives from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the New Orleans, Gretna and Kenner police departments; and the sheriff's offices for Jefferson and St. John the Baptist parishes.

Though the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, the Gretna Police Department and a handful of agencies took steps to remove and secure some firearms from businesses before and after the storm, looters still managed to find weapons to steal. Of the 20 stores burglarized in Louisiana, seven were in Orleans Parish, eight in Jefferson, four in St. Bernard and one in St. John, according to ATF Special Agent Austin Banks.

Looters made off with 75 to 100 firearms from BJ's Pawn Shop on Jefferson Highway in Jefferson before burning the store to the ground in the first few days after Katrina made landfall Aug. 29, owner Bill Jefferson said. Although he put all the handguns away in a safe, the thieves broke a cable lock and stole all the rifles and shotguns there, he said.

Thieves also got past a steel door at his Gretna location, stealing 50 firearms, including some AK-47 assault rifles and pistols, Johnson said.

Hurricane-related gun looting wasn't just a local problem. Another 400 firearms were stolen from businesses in Mississippi and Alabama, according to Robert Browning, the ATF's assistant special agent in charge.

Of the 1,000 guns looted from all three states, only 137 have been recovered. The guns have been found in Georgia, Arizona, Texas and Mississippi, but the vast majority have turned up in Louisiana, Browning said.

An unidentified New Orleans man recently was pulled over by police in Decatur, Ga., and found with one of the looted guns, Browning said. A search of a New Orleans home connected to the man turned up three more stolen guns. That case is still under investigation, he said.

Serial numbers from the pillaged firearms have been entered into a national database that can be accessed by law enforcement agencies around the country.

But Cusanza urged citizens to contact Crimestoppers or authorities if they have any information about specific stolen guns or related burglaries.

. . . . . . .


Anyone with information about the business burglaries involving guns or the location of stolen firearms is asked to call Crimestoppers at 822-1111 or toll free at (877) 903-7867. Tips also can be left on the group's Web site, www.crimestoppersgno.com. Callers do not have to give their names or testify and can earn up to $2,500 for tips that lead to an indictment.

Michelle Hunter can be reached at mhunter@timespicayune.com or (504) 883-7054.

http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/index.ssf?/base/news-3/1134633675141790.xml&coll=1

trickyasafox
December 15, 2005, 07:53 PM
gladd to see that disarming good citizens really made a difference

steveno
December 15, 2005, 07:57 PM
I think that number is probably low

Standing Wolf
December 15, 2005, 08:00 PM
Why, how very surprising!

(Did I say that with enough sincerity?)

Preacherman
December 15, 2005, 08:17 PM
Duplicate threads merged.

kart racer
December 15, 2005, 08:50 PM
I was working in Gulfport for a while and heard of several firearms disappearing from there also.Can't remember the name of the gunstore in Biloxi,but if anyone is looking for Chinese sks's they had good prices and several of them.

Hollowdweller
December 15, 2005, 09:38 PM
I realize this is mainly from stores.

But you ever wonder if our legislators are really concerned about stolen guns being sold to potential criminals why they have never introduced a bill to allow citizens to write off 100% of the cost of a big, heavy gun safe on their taxes??

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