Approximately 400 guns were stolen from a United Parcel Service facility in Memphis, Tennessee. Authorities are very concerned about the potential threat on public safety in the city and region.
Two people driving a U-Haul truck stole the weapons from a UPS facility in Memphis on Sunday, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The agency is requesting the public’s help in the case: It offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Investigators are looking into exactly how many guns were taken, but the estimate of 400 stolen firearms makes it one of the largest single gun thefts the ATF has investigated, bureau spokesman Michael Knight said. ATF agents and the Memphis Police Department are looking at the manifests and bills to determine where the guns were shipped from and where they were going.
The city of Memphis, much like other large metropolitan areas, has a history with violent crime and gun related offenses. The city, which has more than 1.3 million people, had approximately 15,737 violent crimes in 2017 according to FBI statistics.
UPS said in a statement that it is working with law enforcement but does not comment on open investigations.
“We are concerned that the firearms will end up on the streets not only potentially in the Memphis area, but also across the country,” Knight said. “The criminal element knows no geographical boundary.”
Knight said investigating a theft from a shipping facility is more complicated than a gun shop, for example, because weapons at gun stores are isolated in inventory.
“It’s a very tedious process that we’re looking at to make sure that every firearm is accounted for, from the shipper as well as from the receiver,” Knight said.
ATF is asking the public to send it social media posts, photos or any other information related to the theft.