Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Cleveland police officers are teaming up to crack down on repeat violent offenders and the guns they're using to commit crimes.
ATF agents will now be on the front lines working with Cleveland police. Police said they will target the areas with the most gun crimes, including the fourth and fifth Cleveland Police Districts.
"There is a segment of population, a relatively small number, who seems to be committing all the crimes," ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kyle Walton said.
The partnership allows some of the cases to be prosecuted federally.
"Federal guidelines are a lot stiffer for a violent offender we catch with a gun," said Cleveland Police Commander Gary Gingell.
Gun store break-ins are on the rise both locally and nationally. Last month, thieves rammed a car into Top Shot Firearms in Streetsboro and stole ten guns in 22 seconds.
Police are looking for the public's help in catching violent criminals and the guns they're using. Anyone with information about crime guns should contact ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867) or email ATFTips@atf.gov, or go to www.atf.gov/contact/atf-tips. Tips may also be submitted to ATF using the ReportIt app, available on Google Play and the Apple Store. Tipsters may remain anonymous.