Breaking news -

2 26 AK47's and 1 Sniper Rifle stolen from California military base

More than two dozen assault rifles have been stolen from a Southern California military base. 

Investigators sought the public's help as they looked to arrest suspects and recover the weapons, federal officials said Friday.

Twenty-six AK-74 assault rifles and one Dragunov sniper rifle were stolen from a supply warehouse at Fort Irwin in San Bernardino County on July 15, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says in a statement.

Some arrests have been made and one rifle has been recovered, but the agency is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to further arrests, the statement said.

"Community participation is necessary to improve the likelihood that ATF and our law enforcement partners will track down the firearms as well as the criminals who have sought to destabilize our community through illegal activity," ATF Special Agent in Charge John A. Torres said in the statement.

ATF spokesman Special Agent Christian Hoffman could not say when reached by phone how many were arrested, whether they were military or civilian or what motive they may have had.

He referred those questions to military officials, who made the arrests. Phone and email messages left late Friday for a spokesman from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Command, which is investigating the theft along with the ATF and the FBI, were not immediately returned.

Hoffman also could not say why word of the theft did not become public for two weeks, but said his agency decided to issue a news release because of the potential danger the loose weapons posed.

"We determined that there was a public safety issue with the guns getting out on the street," he said.

The larger question is WHY a Dragunov sniper rifle (pictured)
was being stored on a US military base?

In the early 1990's a small batch of the authentic military SVD rifles came into the country, only to be banned a short time later. Only 100 of these rifles were imported.

They have never been used by the US military, and are only used by Russian (inc some surrounding territories), and Asian military .
and how do they get "stolen"?...if they got "lost" yes I'd believe that, the US Army has a habit of losing large amounts of military equipment... but stolen? from a Base like Fort Irwin?
I might be over analysing this but something is really stinking about this story.....
Comment's or added info always welcome...



Randy S. said...

Fort Irwin is where the military conducts, or conducted, its "Red Flag" training. Large amounts of East Bloc or Soviet gear and equipment to equip the aggressor force which was trained to use Russian military tactics. We sent troops to train against them, giving them a somewhat realistic scenario. They also had T72 tanks, BMP and BMDs, and visually modified helos and aircraft. This is why they were there, probably have been since the 80s. As to why they were stolen? Dunno. Easy pickings, maybe they weren't guarded well, as our enemy du jour isn't Russia at the moment.

roonster said...

That makes a lot of sense, thanks a lot for clearing that part up.
I'm still a little concerned as to why they state in the press release that they were "stolen" rather than "lost". They lose stuff all the time and nobody (press or otherwise) bats an eyelid, when they say stolen that to my mind is putting a "somebody" on the crappy end of a future frame-up...but that's just my opinion.