By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Police are investigating after an assault rifle was stolen from an east Kansas City pawn shop.
The fear that a suspect carrying an AK-47 taken from the pawn shop had boarded a city bus caused a scare briefly Tuesday afternoon. Police stopped the bus but later cleared everyone.
No suspect has been found.
The robber apparently took the weapon from Smart Pawn Shop, 6301 Troost Ave., about 4 p.m. A store employee described seeing the suspect board a bus.
The shop's gun cabinet was emptied back in October and numerous guns were stolen during a burglary. Police have not publicly identified any suspects in that burglary.
But residents had predicted this very burglary when they opposed the pawn shop opening a year ago.
Residents had said opening an inner city pawn shop that sold guns would be too tempting of a target for crooks and that those stolen guns would wind up back on the streets in the hands of criminals.
Last year, management had promised top-notch security to prevent thefts.
"We also share the community's concerns about access to firearms by theft," Smart Pawn said in September 2011. "The new store has a vault and will be protected by multiple layers of physical security as well as state-of-the-art alarm detection including motion, seismic and sound."
After the latest crime, residents said it just further proves they were right about their concerns.
"We've got kids and other businesses and schools and churches that are within a block of that store," Mary Rabon said. "It's just not fair to this neighborhood."
Rabon has been an outspoken opponent to the pawn shop since they first proposed opening. She said she knew the business would be too attractive of a target for residents.
"To know that oh, we can go to 63rd and Troost as soon as they close up and we can go in and what we want, that's ridiculous," she said.
Tuesday's robbery actually occurred during business hours. Rabon again is calling on management to stop selling firearms, but said she believes they will turn a deaf ear.
"It's really scary because it's dangerous out there. The more guns you have put into a neighborhood, the more chance you have someone will get shot with them," she said.
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