RENTON, Wash. - Simple security measures in a Lake Stevens parking lot may have kept an untold number of firearms off Western Washington streets.
GunNation in Lake Stevens narrowly avoided a break-in early Friday morning. This after a group of suspects attempted to use a stolen Kia sedan to break open the front of the building.
"They ram into these bollards the first time, it didn’t do anything—backs up, tries again, and killed the car basically." Owner Justin Michaud said.
"The bollards were here mainly just to protect my investment, but also to protect the citizens and the surrounding area of Lake Stevens." He said.
The attempt comes just one month after thieves broke into a Monroe gun store in a similar manner, using an SUV to break through the front entrance.
"All of our firearms are locked up and in safe rooms at night and stuff, anyways," Michaud said. "Long guns are all cabled, so there’s not really much of a way for them to get anything."
Less than an hour earlier, a similar make and model vehicle, with individuals wearing similar clothing, can be seen on a Renton gun store’s security cameras peering through the windows, before ultimately driving away.
Pantel Tactical in Renton shared their security footage with FOX 13, owner Josh Pantel believes the individuals caught on their camera around 1:40 a.m. were the same seen ramming the posts outside GunNation in Lake Stevens just before 2:20 a.m.
Pantel Tactical was rammed by a vehicle in March, causing extensive damage to the front of the store, the suspect attempted to steal firearms as well.
"A lot of us are frustrated. We’re pissed." Michaud said. "Not only because of current political laws—that I’m going to say [Governor] Inslee and [Attorney General] Ferguson have put in place that supposedly protect people from guns, guns aren’t violent. People are violent."
Michaud has been in the firearm business since 2009, with his location in Lake Stevens open for about two years.
"Gun shops have been broken into... I know a couple that have been busted into more than once." Michaud said. "I know other shops as well that are catching video of them scoping out their shops and trying to figure out how to get in."
"I mean, we’re people who work long hours, hard days." He said. "We work for what we have. Nothing we have is given to us. We shouldn’t have to worry about criminals coming to take that from us, especially with firearms getting stolen, because it’s not safe in the community."
The Lake Stevens Police Department confirmed to FOX 13 this is an active investigation.