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BPD: Guns are stolen from Bloomington business

Yellow police tape that says "Police Line Do Not Cross." The text "WGLT Police and Fire" is laid on top of that photo.

Two stores in Bloomington are victims of a growing trend: burglaries targeting firearms dealers.

Bloomington Police said thieves took at least $9,000 in firearms from Smiley's Sports Shop on Ireland Grove Road early Sunday morning. And someone also broke into Midwest Exchange on East Empire Street that same morning. Officers said the guns at Midwest Exchange were stored in a safe and were not taken.

Police are investigating whether the two incidents are connected.

In recent years, gun store thefts have proliferated and the guns taken are resold on the streets, often to gang members, say police. Federal authorities have prosecuted several Peoria area residents for gun store burglaries in several central Illinois towns over the last three years.

At this time, there is no suspect information to release and no arrests have been made in the Bloomington case, said BPD. Anyone with information should contact BPD detective Paul Jones at (309) 434-2548 or PJones@cityblm.org.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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