The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms industry trade association, said Friday they’ve pooled resources to offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the theft of 34 guns from a federal gun licensee in Portland.
A 19-year-old woman faces a federal theft charge after she was stopped Tuesday night hauling the stolen trailer that had contained 34 guns, mostly rifles.
But the stolen firearms have not been recovered, according to federal agents and prosecutors.
“We believe these firearms are most likely still in the Portland or southwestern Washington area,” said Jonathan T. McPherson, special agent in charge of the federal firearms agency’s Seattle field division.
McPherson said the stolen guns getting “in the wrong hands are a threat to the safety of the community and will be so until they are recovered and the remaining perpetrator or perpetrators are taken into custody.”
When guns are stolen, they often end up remaining in the local area where they were taken and, unfortunately, may turn up in crimes of opportunity, said Jason Chudy, an ATF spokesperson.
The guns had been on display at last weekend’s Shooting Sports & Blade Expo at Portland’s Expo Center and were locked in a trailer Monday attached to a white Ford F-250 truck that belonged to Julie Zielke’s 21-year-old son, Zielke told The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Zielke, who works as show and events manager for the St. Helens business Tactical Ordnance, said some of the guns were personal guns belonging to her son and Rob E. Heller of Tactical Ordnance and others were for sale at the show on Saturday and Sunday.
As she and her sons were packing up their luggage at Oxford Suites hotel on North Jantzen Beach just before 10 a.m. Monday, they saw from their room windows a man and a woman drive off with her son’s white Ford F-250 truck and their attached trailer.
Angelina Nicole Pintor-Schindler was arrested Tuesday night after a high-speed chase that ended with her crashing a different stolen truck hauling Zielke’s stolen trailer on the Interstate Bridge. She made her first appearance in federal court Wednesday, accused of theft from a federal firearms licensee.
Her alleged accomplice has not been located, according to federal authorities.
The stolen guns include rifles, shotguns, handguns and gun receivers and frames.
The firearms bureau offered a reward of up to $5,000 that was matched by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Federal agents spent most of Tuesday documenting each of the guns that were stolen. Initially, Zielke reported that 35 firearms were stolen but one was determined not to have been part of the stolen cache of guns, Chudy said.
Anyone with information about the persons responsible or information leading to the recovery of the stolen firearms should contact 1-888-ATF-TIPS (888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or contact ATF through its website.
Tips also may be submitted to the federal firearms bureau using the ReportIt® app, available on both Google Play and the Apple App Store, or by visiting the Reportit website. All calls and tips will be kept confidential.
— Maxine Bernstein
Email firstname.lastname@example.org; 503-221-8212
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