Police recover guns stolen from BigLinny Firearms

Community tips held lead to arrest in drive-by shooting, stolen guns recovered

BELVIDERE - Tips from the community are responsible for getting guns off the streets.  Police recovered weapons that were stolen from a gun shop in Belvidere earlier this year. Chris Linenfelser, the owner of BigLinny Firearms  says he feels justice is being served.

"They got 30 guns when they broke in," said Linenfelser.  Thirty guns, worth about $21,000, were taken in a brazen burglary at BigLinny Firearms back in January.  "It's unfortunate that it happened to begin with," said Linenfelser.   "We don't like the fact that some of our guns are out on the street, but I am glad that they are recovering some."

But, now at least a few of them are off the streets. Rockford Police recently arrested suspects involved in a drive-by shooting.  The guns used in that shooting came from BigLinny's.

"You feel violated," said Linenfelser. "[It's] no different than if they break into your personal home and stole from you."

The arrests made are all thanks to tips from the community.

"I'm glad the community is involved," said Linenfelser.  "Being an honest business owner, it sickens you that, some of your guns are out there and somebody could have gotten hurt with one of your guns."

Since the incident,  BigLinny's barred the windows, and remove it's guns from their display cases at closing time.  This comes after surveillance video showed the burglars using a hammer to shatter the glass cases and trashing the business.  Linenfelser adds, while he spent thousands fixing up his shop and lost even more in inventory, it gives him satisfaction to know that his guns are off the streets.

"I feel great every time one of these guys [are] arrested," said Linenfelser.  "It just warms my heart."

It is not confirmed whether the suspects, who were arrested, are the same suspects who burglarized Biglinny Firearms. The arrested suspects identities have not been released.


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