ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Close to 300 weapons stolen from gun shops across the metro Atlanta area in just a couple of months. ATF agents now say they can trace those stolen firearms back to one guy. Agents have linked the crimes to 31-year-old James Clifford Roberts, a convicted felon from Atlanta.
The gun store burglaries began Oct. 25, 2018. Stores in Jonesboro, Alpharetta, Buford, and Homer were hit. The biggest heist was at Hi-Caliber in Holly Springs. Crooks broke into that store in late November and took off with 180 guns.
When thieves broke into Deercreek Gun Shop in Marietta Suzette McCain, who lives across the street says she's the one who called the police.
"I saw the cars backed up behind the place. Like I told the Detective, it don't make sense they keep doing this," said McCain.
Police say they got away with 21 guns from Deercreek.
In all, 293 firearms were stolen from six stores in two months. Law Enforcement says the M-O was the same across the board. Prior to breaking in, the power to the build was cut, disabling surveillance cameras and alarms.
The owner of Visions Hair Salon, says when thieves broke into the Deercreek Gun Shop next door, they took out her power too.
"I came to work and noticed the police in the parking lot. Once I got in here I noticed the power was cut," said Tammy, the owner of Visions.
The ATF has been trying to track down the crooks behind the crimes. According to an affidavit filed January 11, agents got a break in the case in late December. Surveillance video from another business picked up a suspicious car outside one of the gun shops. Agents tracked it and say it led them to James Clifford Roberts.
Documents show a search warrant turned up burglar tools, bolt cutters, pry bars, a safe with 200 rounds of ammunition, and a .25 caliber firearm that had been stolen from Deercreek Gun Shop.
No word on how many of the other stolen guns have been recovered.