HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Three men are facing charges in connection with a break-in at a state-of-the-art shooting range in Huntsville. Police say more than $90,000 worth of rifles were taken and a majority of the weapons have been recovered.
The suspects made it easy for investigators to track them down as they were caught on video closely examining the business’ merchandise the day before the crime.
Tandy Nicholas Jr., Joshua Everson and Commarrius Cooper have been arrested for burglary, buying/receiving stolen property and possession of stolen property in the case.
The break-in happened October 3 at 2 AM at Bullet & Barrel, on Leeman Ferry Road. Bullet and Barrel is a new indoor shooting range that also offers retail sales, room rentals and training classes.
On that night, Huntsville police officers responded to an alarm at the business and noticed that the glass was broken out of the front door.
They went inside and cleared the building with a K-9 unit and then notified the owner who responded and confirmed to police that a number of weapons had been taken.
The business owner started the process of determining what guns has been stolen and getting the serial numbers.
They also downloaded surveillance footage which showed a small black car parked in a nearby field. In the video, two people can be seen coming towards the business and a rock is thrown through the glass. They climbed through, grabbed several rifles and took them out to their car. Security cameras also show one of the burglars come back inside with a white backpack, according to police. He pulled out a gun and tried to shoot the glass display case where the Glocks are, but the glass did not break so he is captured grabbing more rifles and taking them back out to the car again.
It’s believed 10 rifles in total were stolen.
Investigators began reviewing video from the store before the burglary happened and noticed that the day before, the three suspects came to the shooting range and gave the staff all of their information. Two of the men looked like the burglars who had been caught on camera.
They told the staff that they decided not to shoot at the range after all, but they looked around the store before leaving, paying extra attention to items later taken in the burglary, revealed Lt. Michael Johnson, HPD’s spokesman. All three had traveled to the store in a small black car.
Detectives researched the three suspects and along with members of the ATF, went to Nicholas’ home. Nicholas and Cooper were there.
In a closet, one of the rifles taken in the burglary was spotted during a safety sweep, Lt. Johnson said.
Nicholas denied knowing about the burglary and signed a consent to search for his home and vehicle.
When investigators flipped over the couch, five of the weapons were located, according to officials. In all, Johnson says 6 of the 10 weapons were found in his home. In his car, police found the white backpack seen in surveillance video.
Nicholas and Cooper pointed the finger at Everson who had been living with them for few weeks. Everson was not there during the search but he was located elsewhere and Lt. Johnson says he confessed to knowing about burglary, but said he wasn’t there, putting the blame on Nicholas and Cooper.
“During interviews at our Criminal Investigations Division, all of them admitted to having some knowledge of the burglary, but did not admit to burglary itself,” Johnson said.
All three were arrested and charged. Authorities are still looking for the other stolen firearms and other possible suspects. All 10 rifles were valued at $91,000, according to HPD.
“HPD Investigator Jeff Kreiter received assistance from an ATF agent during the course of the investigation that culminated in these arrests. We appreciate the collaboration. We are asking anyone in the public with information about this burglary and the other stolen weapons to contact the Criminal Investigative Division at 256-427-7270,” Lt. Johnson stated.
Federal charges are pending.
The business applauded local and federal agencies for their hard work on the case and thanked their customers for their support in a Facebook post.