WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Police are still looking for answers after a local gun store and pawn shop was burglarized.
According to Sgt. Charlie Eipper with the Wichita Falls Police Department, it happened just before 3 a.m. on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, in the 2300 block of Kemp Street near the intersection with Avenue N. Sgt. Eipper said police responded to a burglary alarm.
“The officers showed up, started checking the building, and they found the glass had been broken out of the front door,” Sgt. Eipper said.
Police said after checking the building, they found no one at the scene. Shortly thereafter, the owner of Texoma Armory, Gary Barlow, arrived.
“And after checking everything, [Barlow] discovered that several firearms had been stolen from the building, and that’s where we’re at now,” Sgt. Eipper said.
This isn’t the first time the store’s been broken into. Almost seven years ago to the date, in 2015, the store was located on Southwest Parkway. Two men, Charles Johnson and Rodney Robinson entered the store and demanded owner Gary Barlow give them the keys.
Instead, Barlow opened fire, wounding Johnson. In exchange, Robinson emptied an entire magazine from his handgun, striking Barlow five times. Barlow was hospitalized, but survived and was able to recover from his injuries.
Eventually, both men were convicted for their role in the aggravated robbery, with Johnson being sentenced to 40 years in jail and Robinson receiving a 30-year sentence. Thankfully, this time, nobody was hurt. And just like last time, Sgt. Eipper hopes to solve this case.
“We’ll find these guns,” Sgt. Eipper said. “I’m sure our investigators, who are great at what they do, will find who did this, will prosecute them.”
But, with very little information and no suspect identified yet, the WFPD is going to need a little help to do it.
“They were checking to see if there were any cameras in the area,” Sgt. Eipper said. “The building itself did not have them.”
Sgt. Eipper said one way they’re hoping to solve this robbery case is through the Wichita Falls Police Department’s SafeCam program.
“Any business or residence that has cameras set up, they can go to our website,” Sgt. Eipper said. “They can sign up on there, and all it is, it notifies us that they have a camera, what it covers, and that way we have a little database that we can go to.”
In addition, Crime Stoppers is soliciting tips from anyone who has any information on the robbery at Texoma Armory. They’ve issued a Fresh 48 for the burglary, meaning your information could mean extra cash in your pocket.
With board approval, your information reported within 48 hours of the crime could mean up to $3,000. Sgt. Eipper said any information helps, even if it’s information the department has already received.
“Just don’t assume that we already have the information,” Sgt. Eipper said. “It could be something that, the first time we hear it, and even if we have heard it, at least it will corroborate and strengthen, confirm other information that’s the same that’s come in.”
The police have very little information about these crimes and could use your help. Any information could help solve this case.
If you have any information about this crime or any other felony crime, call Crime Stoppers twenty-four hours a day at 940-322-9888, or if you are calling long distance, call 1-800-322-9888.
From the time your tip is placed into Crime Stoppers to a possible reward being issued with board approval, you will remain completely anonymous throughout the whole process.
Crime Stoppers, citizens, police, and the media working together to make our community a safer place to live. Together, we can make a difference.