News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, June 24, 2013
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- It was a long weekend for Jessica Hammett but not a good one.
"We work really hard six days a week trying to at least pay the bills these days,” said the owner of Outdoors Unlimited, which is just off I-20 exit 22 in Aiken.
Early Saturday morning, someone broke into Hammett's business that’s right across Highway 1 from the Aiken Municipal Airport.
"We definitely are very sick over the whole situation,” she said.
Hammett says the suspect used a crowbar to pry open the business' front door. Once he got inside, he got to work.
"This was the gun cabinet that they busted everything out of,” she pointed out. “This is where the guns laid."
An Aiken County Sheriff's Office report says 15 guns were stolen in only 48 seconds. By the time deputies arrived, just two minutes later, the suspect had already run away, Hammett says.
"Within just a few seconds, 40-something seconds, he was in and out,” she said. “So he knew exactly where to go and where he was going."
Hammett says she the suspect was a regular customer, but so far, there are no good leads.
"Guns that go out on the street, you know, are sold or even used by those perpetrators who have stolen them,” said Capt. Eric Abdullah with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.
Of the 15, all were pistols. The report says they were a collection of Rugers, a Smith & Wesson, a Springfield, a Taurus and a Rock Island, too. They were 9 millimeters, 22 calibers and even a 45.
"We are going to enforce the law, of course,” Abdullah said. “That's our primary focus. We want to find these weapons and get them returned."
Hammett wants that, too.
"Hopefully [the suspect will] make a stupid mistake and everything will get turned over, and we'll get everything back," she said.
The Sheriff's Office doesn't have much to go on according to the report, but Hammett says she's hoping to piece together some surveillance video from both inside the store and out in the parking lot.
She's thinking if she can identify the car he pulled up it, they'll have something more solid to go on.
According to the report, a $500 door was damaged and over $6,000 worth of guns were stolen. She says the suspect robbed all but two and a couple rifles behind the counter.
Anyone who has information about this case or wants to report criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (803) 648-6811 or Crimestoppers with a tip or information at (888) CRIME-SC.