Two charged in theft of guns

TONY EUBANK Banner Staff Writer
Posted 4/14/15

The Cleveland Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division has connected the dots on a rash of motor vehicle burglaries targeting gun owners.

The burglaries began in late February …

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Two charged in theft of guns

Posted

The Cleveland Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division has connected the dots on a rash of motor vehicle burglaries targeting gun owners.

The burglaries began in late February and continued through the early part of this month, resulting in 16 weapons being stolen from 13 cars and trucks.

Warrants were issued for two suspects, James “Andy” Evans, 32, of Cleveland and Tyler Maxwell, 33, of Cleveland.

According to CPD Detective Bill Hicks, the two and a possible third suspect are believed to have been driving from parking lot to parking lot during daytime hours searching for guns in vehicles.

The men reportedly selected their targets by looking for cars and trucks that displayed stickers that might indicate gun ownership, such as NRA, pro-gun slogans and various gun brand logos.

According to police reports, all of the 13 vehicles burglarized had such stickers, and some of the victims even left handguns in plain sight.

CID began piecing together the case when a couple of the weapons turned up in a pawnshop after being sold to an unsuspecting buyer whose wife then attempted to pawn the guns.

Other witnesses have come forward, and police have obtained video from a retail parking lot. So far, three of the firearms have been recovered.

CPD has advised those who wish to store a firearm in their vehicles to make sure they are hidden from sight and locked up. They also suggest that it would be wise to not advertise your gun ownership.

As of July 1, 2014, Tennessee residents are permitted to transport and store loaded firearms in their privately owned vehicles, due to the expansion of the state’s defense of habitation laws, a fact criminals may be very aware of.

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