After looters made off with dozens of firearms from a Hayward, Calif., gun store over the weekend, federal officials are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the theft.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Wednesday offered a $5,000 reward, which was matched by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, for information on the crime.
The Bay Area saw a weekend of unrest as demonstrators took to the streets to decry the death of George Floyd, whom a white police officer pinned to the ground by pressing his knee into Floyd's neck. Protests have erupted across California and the U.S., and many that began as peaceful demonstrations devolved into looting and other mayhem, especially on Saturday and Sunday nights.
Just after 10 p.m. Sunday, 30 to 40 people broke into Richardson Tactical in Hayward and stole 29 weapons, according to the reward notice issued by the ATF.
Among the weapons the store sells are Glock-22s, AR-15s and Beretta M9 handguns, according to Richardson's Facebook page.
A Monday post on the page verified the looting.
“Everyone working here is safe, no one was harmed, just some damage in the store,” the post said.
The store’s owners could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday, but the Facebook post said no previously purchased weapons that had yet to be picked up were taken.
“To reassure all of the customers who had pending items here, your items remained untouched,” the store's post said.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic — which has infected nearly 120,000 people across California and killed more than 4,400 — gun sales picked up across California. In 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 15 bills strengthening gun control in state law.
The Hayward reward offered by the ATF and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association of the firearms industry, is part of an effort to “curb the criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms,” the notice said.
The ATF is encouraging anyone with information to confidentially contact the organization at (800) 283-4867 or at the Report It website.