BIG TIMBER, Mont. - The following is a news release from the ATF.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Sweet Grass County Sheriff's Office (SGCSO) are requesting the public's assistance for information regarding the recent theft of approximately ten handguns from a firearms dealer in Big Timber, Montana.
In the early morning hours of September 14, 2013 unknown person(s) used forced entry to gain access to a closed business known as The Fort, at 228 Big Timber Loop Road in Big Timber. Approximately ten handguns, of various makes, models and calibers were stolen in the burglary. The Fort is a federally licensed firearms (FFL) dealer.
"The theft of firearms and illegal firearms trafficking is a top investigative priority for ATF," said Ken Bray, Resident Agent in Charge of ATF in Montana. "We are asking for the public's help in our effort to apprehend and convict those responsible. We are confident that someone can help identify a suspect, and we encourage them to call us."
"We want the public to understand that any information they can provide relating to this incident could prevent these stolen firearms from being used in violent crimes; that is our most important concern," said Sweet Grass County Sheriff Dan Tronrud.
A reward of up to $2500 is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to the recovery of the firearms and to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft. Stealing firearms and possession of stolen firearms is a federal crime that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Surveillance footage of the burglary was recovered from the business. We are releasing images from this surveillance footage that show the suspect and his vehicle to the public at this time. We are hoping that someone will recognize the person and/or vehicle depicted in the footage and will call ATF or the sheriff's office with this information.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the ATF hotline at 1 (888) ATF-GUNS - 1 (888) 283-4867, or locally in Billings at (406) 657-9700. They can also call the Sweet Grass County Sheriff's Office at (406) 932-5143