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Feds nab Central Illinois gun store smash & grab burglars

March 5, 2020

Feds say they caught up with Central Illinois gunshop smash and grab artists who stole dozens of firearms since Christmas.  They hit shops in five counties.  Until their good fortune ran out.

Of course, wearing distinctive clothing didn’t exactly make it hard to find these clowns.

From the US Attorney’s Office:

Two Peoria Men Arrested, Charged in Five-County Burglary Spree of Licensed Firearms Dealers

PEORIA, Ill. – Two Peoria, Ill., men appeared in federal court in Peoria today following their arrests on charges that allege they have stolen 53 guns from Central Illinois licensed firearms dealers since Christmas Day 2019. Terrence M. Daniels, 19, and James D. Woolfolk, 20, both of Peoria, are charged in the burglary of six licensed firearms dealers in five counties.

As alleged in the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Daniels and Woolfolk burglarized and stole guns from licensed firearms dealers in the Illinois counties of Tazewell, Woodford, Logan, McLean, and Bureau, as follows:

  • Dec. 25, 2019:  Midwestern Firearms Company, 829 E. Camp St., East Peoria. Police were alerted at approximately 3:20 a.m. Ten firearms were stolen;
  • Feb. 23, 2020:  Midwestern Firearms Company, 829 E. Camp St., East Peoria. Police were alerted at approximately 2:08 a.m. Six firearms were stolen;
  • Feb. 27:  Freedom Sports Shop, 146 W. Front St., El Paso. Police were dispatched at approximately 12:25 a.m.; however, no firearms were stolen;
  • Feb. 27:  Pekin Gun and Sporting Goods, 281 Derby St., Pekin. Police were dispatched at approximately 1:40 a.m. 13 firearms were stolen;
  • Feb. 27:  Tactical Bunker, 127 S. Sangamon St., Lincoln. Police were dispatched when the business owner arrived to find that the business had been burglarized. Six firearms were stolen;
  • Feb. 29: Guns and Glory, 117 E. Center St., LeRoy. Police were dispatched at approximately 1:39 a.m. Nine firearms were stolen; and,
  • March 4: LZ Resale, 120 E. St. Paul St., Spring Valley. Police were dispatched at approximately 1:31 a.m. Nine firearms were stolen.

The affidavit alleges that in each instance, officers arrived to find the front door glass broken and firearms removed from broken glass display cases. In several of the instances, agents reviewed surveillance footage of the burglaries.

“A top priority of the Department of Justice is keeping our communities safe from gun violence,” stated U.S. Attorney John Milhiser. “Stolen guns frequently get into the hands of dangerous criminals, resulting in deadly consequences. We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to aggressively prosecute those who help put guns in the wrong hands.”

Both men were arrested on March 4, and appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan E. Hawley in Peoria. Woolfolk waived a detention hearing and was ordered to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Daniels was also detained pending a detention hearing scheduled on Monday, March 9.

The charges are the result of investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Peoria Police Department with assistance from the East Peoria; Pekin; El Paso; LeRoy; Lincoln; and, Spring Valley Police Departments.

If convicted, for the offenses of stealing firearms from a federal firearms licensee and possession of stolen firearms, the maximum statutory penalty for each count is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The maximum penalty for conspiracy to steal and possess firearms from a federal firearms licensee is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Members of the public are reminded that a complaint is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case is brought as part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, and local authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by ATF when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.

3 Responses to Feds nab Central Illinois gun store smash & grab burglars

  1. CC Ryder on March 6, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Most likely they’d be selling the firearms to local area gangbanger’s and other criminals. L.E. needs to find out by whatever means to find out who they sold whichever firearms to who.
    Secondly maybe the those store’s should have security guard on duty during the closed over night hours.
    Maybe equipped with say a AR-10. They come in vertical and go out horizontal. Just saying.

  2. Jim on March 6, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    The overnight guard is a nice but impractical solution.

    You would pay 64 hours a week. At 15.00 hour not practical

  3. george b on March 6, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    i am glad the thieves were apparently caught but i am concerned about this affection with the NICS.
    When the NRA came out in favor of the Brady Bill I stopped supporting the NRA. As far as i know only GOA would like to see it gone.
    Why is the gun lobby so friendly with tyranny. No FOID, No NICS, NO Red Flag Laws, NO 68 GCA and so on.