'It's frustrating' Thieves steal from gun shop owner for the second time

RAW VIDEO: Thieves break into North Charleston gun shop and take weapons

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - "Not again. I can't believe it's happened again."

On Friday morning, Thane Hollington learned three men had broken into his gun store, the Gunslingers Trading Post on Rivers Avenue, and took several weapons.

It's a crime Hollington is all too familiar with.

In 2012, four men broke into another one of Hollington's shops, Guns and Gold Trading Post, using an SUV to drive straight through the North Charleston store's front entrance.

The latest burglary happened at the Gunslingers Trading Post on 8510 Rivers Ave. around 10 p.m. on Thursday. Police say the thieves used a piece of concrete to break the front plate glass window.

"We can put an alarm system in here that could be Fort Knox," says Scott Warthan, co-owner of Gunslingers Trading Post. "It's not going to matter. If they want to get in, they're going to get in, and there's nothing we can do about it. That's just today's crime."

Newly released surveillance video showed one of the thieves used a metal case and a rifle to smash in glass cases at the shop to steal guns.

"It takes a while before it sinks in," Hollington said on Tuesday."You're in shock at first and then you feel violated and you get angry."

"We kind of think he has been in here before because he knew to go out the back door," says Warthan. "Kicked that door in and went the back door, so both doors were open all night long."

Hollington said the thieves made off with a BB gun, four handguns and a rifle, with one of the handguns later discovered behind the shop.

"It seems like crime pays, these guys get away with it," Hollington said."They do not get caught, the guns never come back."

According to Hollington, several of the guns that were stolen from the Guns and Gold Trading Post in 2012 were never recovered.

"There's no registration for guns in South Carolina," Hollington said."While that seems great from a liberty standpoint, it's frustrating because a gun comes into the shop for me to purchase from someone and I can't find out whether it's stolen or not. There's no database for me to run. All I can do is a background check...that's frustrating."

Hollington says the Guns and Gold Trading Post was even more secure than his present shop, but the thieves used a stolen truck to smash in the entrance.

According to Hollington, he's utilizing more security measures after last week's break-in to deter any more thieves from breaking in.

"We've got reinforced glass. We're going to have metal lathing installed onto the inside of the glass," Hollington said."So even if they throw a 400 pound brick through it, it's going to stop it."

If you have information on any of the burglaries you are asked to call police or Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.

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