Durham Policesay there is a good chance that crime will breed others when the guns end up in the hands of the wrong people.
The guns were reported stolen from the J and R Pawn Shop on North Miami Boulevard. There have been 10 murders in Durham this year, and every one of them was committed with a gun.
Durham Police expect this one robbery to affect the crime rate citywide.
Durham Police have seized more than 100 handguns this year from people who are not supposed to have them. Now, they suspect dozens more are on the streets illegally.
"I think those guns will end up on the black market on the street. People will try to obtain them without permits and without going through the legal process," said Maj. Dwight Pettiford.
The thieves got through two barbed wire fences, disarmed the pawn shop's security system and broke in through a window. They stole handguns but left nearby shotguns and jewelry untouched.
Police say there was not a tape in the store's surveillance camera.
"Here it is that someone has stolen these guns, and they can put it out cheap and easily, and all of these are dangerous weapons," explained Pettiford.
It is a frustrating case for Durham officers who set up roadblocks twice a month to intercept illegal guns. They are afraid that the next time they see the stolen guns it will be at a crime scene.
"But more importantly, it will affect the quality of life in our city, and that's what we're so concerned about as an agency," said Pettiford.
Police have not made an arrest in the pawn shop robbery yet. They are going to enter the serial numbers into a national database.
If the guns turn up in a raid or at a crime scene, they can be traced back to this robbery.
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