ALTON, Ill. – Tips from a Facebook post may have police zeroing in on a gun thief in Alton.
The theft happened early Saturday evening at the Piasa Armory gun shop on East Broadway. The thief was acting like he was a customer, looking at a handgun that was attached with a security cord, store owner Scott Pulaski said.
The thief cut the cord when no one was looking and ran out the door to a waiting Toyota 4-Runner.
“We had a busy shop. I had a customer come in; he was just kind of doing the general browse,” Pulaski said. “He played the part pretty well until he decided not to.”
Pulaski posted an alert on the store’s Facebook page that night. It includes surveillance photos of the suspect and the vehicle.
The post offered a $500 reward for the return of the gun: a Glock 19 Gen 5, similar to what police use.
The gun is worth about $600. But the real concern is not the gun’s value. Pulaski said he fears people who steal guns aren’t do so for law-abiding use.
“The concern is that it gets used in a crime or worse – anything that would cause harm to somebody else,” Pulaski said. “A lot of times, it’s crimes with guns are criminal-on-criminal but sometimes it brings somebody that’s innocent into the mix. That’s just the worst outcome that can happen.”
The store has posted an update Friday afternoon saying the gun had been recovered; likely thanks to tips generated by the first post.
Meanwhile, Alton police are continuing their search for the thief.
“We still want the bad guy,” Pulaski said. “We’re going to reward the person that was able to get that gun recovered to us. We’re also going to extend the reward to the person who brings the bad guy into local police.”
If you have any information on the suspect’s whereabouts, you’re asked to call the ATF or Alton Police Department.