Stolen gun found in car of Pine Hill murder suspects

Tampa Arms

TAMPA, Fla.  (WFLA) – Two teens faced a judge in Polk County Wednesday on murder charges.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd wants 16-year-old Jayvon Joachin and 17-year-old Deshawn Miller tried as adults in the shooting death of 27-year-old Kendra Lewis in Pine Hills.

When Polk deputies took the pair into custody, the found a gun in the car and it turns out, that gun was stolen.

It was one of more than 40 taken from a smash and grab last month at Tampa Arms, a Hillsborough County gun store.

One of the big questions investigators are trying to figure out now is whether that gun was the murder weapon.

Related: Teens suspected in Orange County murder make Polk Co. court appearance

News Channel 8 wanted to know about the responsibility gun shop owners have to the public.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms doesn’t regulate how gun stores should secure their weapons but they say even an ounce of prevention can go a long way.

The brazen smash and grab at Tampa Arms at its West Waters Street location late last month was all caught on surveillance video.

A SUV can be seen smashing through the front glass and anywhere from 8 to 12 people jump out stealing 40 weapons, including glocks, shotguns and AR-15’s.  None of them are locked up.

It’s far from business as usual at Tampa Arms, as the front is boarded up.

Meantime, across the Bay at Bill Jackson’s sporting goods in Pinellas Park, there are several layers of security which the owner showed us but doesn’t want to reveal to the public.  He did show us the countless number of safes where guns are locked up at night.

When asked why they locked up their guns, Doug Jackson said, “To keep them safe and out of the hands of people.”

Why so secure?  Jackson has learned first-hand from the two robberies that taught them very valuable lessons.

“That’s the bottom line is through experience we’ve learned that we have to do certain things to protect our inventory,” Jackson told News Channel 8.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms says gun shop owners have a responsibility.

“Just simply locking the door or setting the alarm isn’t enough unfortunately,” Agent David Brown told News Channel 8 on Monday.

He urges gun shop owners to do the right thing.

“To take those firearms that are on display on the wall or in the counter tops and secure them in a gun safe,” Brown said.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is weighing in and is not happy with gun stores that don’t go above and beyond.

“I believe that gun stores have an ethical and moral obligation to the community that when they lock that store up at the end of the day that those guns are so secure,” Judd told News Channel 8.

So secure, Judd went on to say, that scenes like the one at Tampa Arms shouldn’t be playing out anywhere and if they do, he says, the criminals should get caught red-handed.

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