Police: Gun store burglaries related to recent shootings - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Police: Gun store burglaries related to recent shootings

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Police say the Weston murder is connected to stolen guns in Marathon and Lincoln Counties, and authorities are asking the public for more information.

Police continue to investigate the murder, which left a 20-year-old woman dead. Now, officials believe that crime is related to two recent gun store burglaries.

"We recover stolen guns occasionally, it's not that frequent. Obviously, when you have two burglaries and that amount stolen, it's a concern," said Wally Sparks, Everest Metro Police Chief.

Condition One Gun Shop in Wausau was broken into in late September and Statton's General Store in Tomahawk was broken into earlier this month. Police say they're connected.

"There are a number of other guns out in the community yet," said Jeff Hardel, Wausau Police Chief.

Authorities say 55 guns were stolen between the two shops, and only ten of them have been recovered so far.

"Of those recovered guns, two have been used in other crimes. One with the homicide in Weston, and the Wausau resident killed by police in Eau Claire," said Hardel.

Officials say the suspect in the Weston murder and the man killed by police knew each other.

"The stolen guns were in their possession, either in their vehicle, on them, or in their backpack or surrounding area," said Hardel.

Police say whoever stole the guns could be trying to sell them or trading them for drugs.

"They do seem to be a combination we see on a regular basis – drugs and guns," said Hardel.

Multiple departments are involved in the investigation and sharing information to try to find all the stolen guns.

"It's very important that we work together very closely on these types of crimes," said Sparks.

Police say just one stolen gun on the streets is one too many.

Authorities say if you have any information on the stolen guns, give police a call.

***

Officers from several area departments are working to find out who is behind two gun store burglaries that they believe are related to two recent shooting deaths.

According to a press release from the Wausau Police Department, 55 guns were taken from Condition One in Wausau and Statton's General Store in Lincoln County.

Police say the stolen guns have been linked to both the October 5th police shooting in Eau Claire and the October 13th Weston murder.

Burglars struck Condition One during the early morning hours on September 20th. Statton's General Store was burglarized early October 2nd. Both burglaries were smash and grab style burglaries according to police. The suspects broke in and stole the guns within only a few minutes.

Authorities say they have recovered 10 of the stolen guns so far.

If you have any information, you can contact Detective Jeff Strobach at the Wausau Police Department, Lieutenant Mark Gartman of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, or Detective Sergeant Dan Goff of the Everest Metro Police Department.  Callers can remain anonymous.   

  • Detective Strobach 715-261-7815
  • Lieutenant Gartman 715-536-6272
  • Detective Sergeant Goff 715-359-4202
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