After holding a fundraiser at a Roswell gun range, the money raised by a gun group and 18 firearms were stolen from three vehicles — the range owner says social media posts may have pointed thieves to their location.
The group was inside the Alpharetta Dave & Buster’s on Oct. 20 when thieves smashed their car windows and helped themselves to nearly $40,000 worth of guns and cash, according to police.
“It’s shocking. Eighteen guns from three cars in one parking lot,” Officer Howard Miller with Alpharetta police said Friday.
But the owner of the shooting range that hosted the charity event said the thefts could have been avoided. The 18 guns — which included revolvers, rifles, a .50-caliber pistol, and an AR-15 — should not have been left inside vehicles, according to Tom Deets.
“Everything they did was contradictory to everything we preach and teach in the firearms industry,” Deets, owner of SharpShooters USA, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “You never, ever leave those firearms unsecured.”
SharpShooters, a Roswell retail store and indoor gun range, was the location of the Oct. 20 event to raise money for breast cancer. That event was organized by 2a Angels, a shooting group founded by women who support the Second Amendment, according to online posts promoting the fundraiser.
Details about the breast cancer fundraiser were posted on eventbrite.com, a website that allows users to post details about events, and on the AR15 News website, devoted to firearms news. The grand prize was to be a big game hunting safari to Africa.
Members of 2a Angels documented the fundraiser on social media throughout the event, Deets said, including details about money raised and prizes donated by vendors. Deets said those social media posts also offered details about where 2a Angels planned to go after the fundraiser ended.
Around 11 p.m., members of the group parked outside Dave & Buster’s on North Point Parkway. When they returned to their vehicles around 1 a.m. Sunday, the guns and money, along with other personal items, were gone, according to a police report. Windows were busted in two of the vehicles, and the owner of the third told police there was no damage to his truck but items were missing — he thought he had locked his doors.
There are surveillance cameras in the Dave & Buster’s parking lot, the police report states. But the cameras did not capture the area where the three vehicles were parked. No other vehicles in the lot were reported broken into that night.
Detectives got the serial numbers of the guns and hope to track them down, Alpharetta police said. Investigators worry who will end up with the guns, including unsuspecting buyers or other criminals.
“We worry about it every time guns are stolen,” Miller said. “Most of the time guns are ending up in the hands of people who aren’t legally allowed to purchase or obtain firearms, so when people leave their personal guns in the cars, they’re just opening up an opportunity for criminals to get their hands on guns.”
One of the two founders of 2a Angels, Amanda Rose, identified herself during a brief phone call with The Atlanta Journal Constitution. But she declined to discuss the thefts.
“I’m not making any statements regarding the issue at this time,” she said.
But Rose released a statement on behalf of the organization after the incident to Channel 2 Action News.
“Although proper security measures were in place, they were compromised resulting in the loss of our media equipment, personal belongings and personal firearms,” the statement read.
According to Rose’s post on Instagram, she founded 2a Angels in September with a woman identified only as Jennifer M.
Rose and Keith Kennedy are listed as co-founders of SaberCo Marketing, based in Cumming. Kennedy was also listed as an owner of one of the vehicles broken into at Dave and Buster’s. According to their online biographies on their company website, Rose is a federal law enforcement officer and military police, and Kennedy is a military veteran and has worked nine years in the firearms industry.
Deets said the guns should have been locked in a vault or at home. When left in vehicles, the firearms are easy to spot, he said.
“If I have a long gun and I’m bringing it to the range, when I leave, I don’t go to Dave & Buster’s,” Deets said. “I take that thing home and then I go out.”
The 2a Angels group said no personal information from donors was obtained by the thieves. The group hopes to replace the money raised during the event, Rose said. But it wasn’t clear how much had been raised. Police reports of the theft listed $1,310 in cash missing.
“Our primary concern is replacing the money that was raised during the event to be donated to the charity like we intended to do and we will do exactly that,” the statement said. “We intend to make sure this never happens again and we are actively working closely with local law enforcement to resolve this issue.”
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