SEQUIM — The owner of FREDS Guns in Sequim has released security footage showing a frontloader driving through the front of the store before a man stuffs a duffel bag with about 30 guns.
The video shows a man wearing a hoodie running into the gun store and stealing guns from a case on the south side of the store at 261340 U.S. Highway 101.
The footage shows that the frontloader rammed through the building at 11:23 p.m. on April 13 and by 11:26 p.m. the man had driven away. The video provided does not show the law enforcement response.
Insulation from the wall can be seen circulating in the air after the impact.
The man initially runs into the building, but runs back to the front loader after apparently forgetting a tool.
When he runs back into the store an item in his hand appears to catch on a curtain, causing him to trip.
He then jumps over a gun case on the south side of the room and begins shoving handguns into a large duffel bag.
Two minutes after ramming through the front of the store the man goes back into the front loader, backs it up and turns back toward U.S. Highway 101.
The vehicle, stolen from Leitz Farm Supply’s nearby hay barn according to officials, was found abandoned on Atterberry Road.
Seth Larson, who owns FREDS Guns, said he released the video to the Peninsula Daily News to quell questions in the community about his security system.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has repeatedly said it was not releasing any security footage.
“It’s very frustrating that people don’t understand this guy almost tore down my building,” Larson said. “This video will show how my doors did work … but it was the walls around that gave away.
“I’m just tired of everybody saying ‘you didn’t have good security’ when we had wonderful security.”
Larson said that at this time he cannot comment on details of the investigation or release video from other cameras in the store.
“My wife and I have spent thousands of hours building up this small business and seeing it get destroyed in seconds is really hard for us,” he said. “It’s hard to watch, it really is.”
The ATF and the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office have been investigating the burglary together since the April 13 burglary.
The ATF provided information from an anonymous tip to the State Patrol which led to the arrest Isaiah A. Hylton, 20, for investigation of unlawful possession of a firearm.
The ATF has said Hylton is not considered a suspect in the FREDS Guns burglary.
The handgun found was not stolen from FREDS Guns, but Hylton admitted to having sold one of the stolen guns, court records say.
He remained in the Clallam County jail on $50,000 bail on Saturday.
Tips also led to another arrest, though not directly related to the case.
Justin Bacon was arrested April 17 for investigation of unlawful possession of a firearm after Larson received a tip that someone wearing a hooded sweatshirt and jeans was walking on Hooker Road and had a pistol in his hands.
Deputies initially did not find any weapons on Bacon, but did find gun parts in his vehicle and a rifle in his home, records say.
Bacon periodically made statements referring to the FREDS Guns burglary, saying if he were involved he would have “doubled back so the cops wouldn’t have caught him,” court records say.
A combined reward of $15,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the burglary.
Anyone with information about the person or people responsible and/or information leading to the recovery of the stolen firearms should contact ATF at 1-888-283-8477 email [email protected], or contact ATF through its website at www.atf.gov/ contact/atftips.
Tips may also be submitted to ATF using the ReportIt app, available on both Google Play and the Apple App Store, or by visiting www.reportit.com.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].