How can gun store owners protect themselves against smash and grab thefts?

Posted at 2:07 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 14:08:03-04

Monday morning there were at least three attempted smash and grabs in Northeast Ohio. 

That's the latest in a rash of smash and grabs at stores across the region. 

Now, guns stores are becoming targets. 

Assessing the risk

Double Tap Shooting Supplies took the risk, just recently opening in Parma Heights. It’s located on Pearl Road — a main road in the city. Right now, there’s nothing stopping a criminal from busting through the window into the shop, but the owners say they're no fools and they're protected.

"It's something I look out for whenever you're in a high-risk area like this," said Jonathan Lesson, co-owner of the gun shop.

Making sure every gun in their small shop is locked away in a secret place, he says they’re fully equipped with an instant alarm system.

Is it enough?

Store security expert Rob Reiter says yes, they're just as vulnerable to smash and grabs as stores with ATMs inside are, but gun shops need even more protections.

“You're trying to police gun sales, hundreds of guns suddenly come out on the street and they're stolen and they're sold illegally we've lost track of all of them," he said.

So he recommends guns to put up billards — or cement barriers — like what convenient stores are now putting up now across the region. But Reiter said it shouldn’t be up to store owners.

“A statewide measure works really really well for something like this," he said. 

RELATED: Will Cleveland city council pass an ATM smash & grab law anytime soon?

Cleveland city officials are now putting legislation together to stop ATM smash and grabs, and even though there aren't gun shops within the city limits, council is urging other municipalities to pass laws of prevention.

“Everybody should be nervous when they're stealing multiple firearms, especially automatic weapons," Councilman Mike Polensik of Ward 8.

And Lesson said he's seriously considering putting barriers up of his own for his Parma Heights store.

“They’re definitely not cheap too so, you got to make some money be able to build them," he said.