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Police seeking public assistance in investigation of stolen guns

Thunder Bay police recovered three stolen firearms and are still concerned about eight other firearms which are still outstanding, following a break and enter on June 21.
Thunder Bay Police station

THUNDER BAY - Thunder Bay police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating eight firearms that were stolen from a break-in last week.

Police recovered a number of firearms reported stolen after officers were dispatched to an address on Prince Arthur Boulevard on June 22.

When police arrived they learned two individuals were in an argument regarding firearms that had been dropped off at the home by a third individual. Police took the weapons and determined they had been stolen during a break-in on June 21 in the 700-block of Syndicate Avenue.

Det.-Insp. John Fennell of the Thunder Bay Police Service is hoping the public can assist police in locating the outstanding firearms.

“We are pleading if anybody has dropped off a firearm at a house to hide or hang on to, you are at risk of a criminal charge as much as the guy who brought it there,” Fennell said. “Please contact us and we ill work out recovery.”

A 32-year-old man was arrested on June 23 and faces a raft of firearm-related offences in connection to the incident. Fennell described the guns as hunting-style firearms.

“It’s northwestern Ontario, there are a lot of hunters in our community so therefore there are accessible firearms to these individuals,” he said, adding there was no concern for police on how the owner of the firearms was storing them.

“It was properly looked after, properly locked up…so we do not have concerns,” Fennell said.

Police say individuals who steal firearms will most likely exchange them for drugs or cash. Criminals are also most likely to modify or change these firearms, which causes great concern for police.

“They become very dangerous,” Fennell said. “ We have already heard the term ‘sawed-off shotgun’ so, despite the fact that it was a long gun when it started, a hacksaw turns it into a smaller gun that can be easily concealed.”

Fennell explained how stolen guns are typically used to fuel gang and gun activity in the city.

“They use it for the intimidation, they use it to be able to obtain things illegally,” he said.

Police are also investigating a break and enter at the Surplus and More store on Simpson Street where a number of weapons were stolen by a suspect or a group of individuals.

Anyone with information on these stolen items can contact Thunder Bay police by calling 807-684-1200.

Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Karen Edwards reports on court and crime under the Local Journalism initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada.
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