Monroe, Wayne Counties, N.Y. - More than eighty guns were stolen from two different gun store robberies in Wayne County recently.
Now sources confirm for 13WHAM News that at least two guns from those robberies have surfaced in the course of a seemingly unrelated criminal investigation.
The first robbery of "Tom's Guns & Ammo" in Sodus happened in November. Authorities said 62 handguns valued at more than $28,000 were stolen.
The second occurred in January when 24 handguns as well as one rifle were stolen from "D & M Shooting Sports" in Palmyra.
Details about when, how, and where these stolen guns surfaced are being closely guarded by investigators.
Federal investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms are working closely with local authorities.
Many law enforcement officials predicted at the time of these crimes that the guns would soon surface in the course of other investigations.
"These are weapons that are going out onto the street," Chief Deputy Bob Hetzke of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office told 13WHAM News in January following the theft of guns from the Palmyra store. "The bad guys are going to get the guns and this is how they do it."
For other law enforcement officials, predictions such as that coming true is no surprise.
"A lot of times when we do seize a gun, and a gun has been involved in a crime, we find out is it's been stolen and the majority of time it's not within in the City of Rochester it's from the surrounding suburbs and even the surrounding counties," said Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard.
Rochester Police are also working a number of open burglary investigations where guns were taken and possibly targeted in the course of those crimes.
"Over the last five years, from 2007 to 2012, we've had over 600 guns stolen out of the City of Rochester alone," Chief Sheppard said. "A lot of times when we have a crime committed or we catch somebody who is illegally possessing that gun, it is stolen."
Chief Sheppard urges legal gun owners to secure their firearms properly and to check on them often, especially when returning from a vacation or weekend out of town. He said there are many cases where legal gun owners only realize their firearm was stolen after it was discovered in the course of other police investigations.
If you have any information that could help authorities track the whereabouts of stolen guns, you are urged to call CrimeStoppers at 585-423-9300. You can remain anonymous and could receive a cash reward if your tip leads to an arrest.