It's a repeat performance owners of nRange in Mt. Juliet didn't order. This week the Mt. Juliet gun store, located at 9904 Lebanon Road, was targeted twice - three days apart. These double break-ins fall on the heels of a January escapade where suspects rammed into the front door of this shop and took guns.
According to Mt. Juliet Police Lt. Tyler Chandler, detectives investigating this week's brazen hits believe the same suspects are responsible for the Sunday and Wednesday burglaries.
Both burglaries were in the pre-dawn hours; however for the Wednesday break-in, a second female suspect helped.
Chandler said on April 17 around 3 a.m., a male suspect broke into the back door of nRange and snagged five handguns, two shotguns and two rifles.
Then on April 20, this same male, along with a female suspect, broke through the same back door and swiped 10 handguns.
There is video surveillance of the break-ins, and detectives said it reveals the suspects are a white male and female in their 20's.
There's a $1,000 reward offered for information that leads to the successful arrest and conviction of the suspects responsible for these crimes. Detectives have gathered evidence at the scene of both break-ins.
Chandler said the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) is assisting in the investigation and indicated these suspects may be connected to similar crimes in Nashville.
Chandler noted gun stores are popular targets for thieves. And while this particular store did have a surveillance system set up, he said there were some general things store owners (and home owners) can do to deter break-ins like this.
"Make sure the exterior of the property is lit up well, keep it cleaned up and this makes it difficult on the criminal," he said. "Make access harder. Of course have good locks on the door and try to put up extra barriers, such as bars over glass entries."
He said for guns stores, owners should make sure they lock up the firearms before closing or attach them to a cable system.
"Just have an extra defense system," he noted.
Chandler said, "Obviously, high-target businesses are patrolled more often. Unfortunately, we can't sit and watch them constantly."
Anyone with any information regarding this latest nRange crime is encouraged to call the MJPD at (615) 754-2550, or for anonymous tips (615) 754-TIPS. You can also go to the MJPD website at mjpd.org.
Writer Laurie Everett can be contacted at email@example.com.