Thieves steal 274 guns from Houston-area stores

HOUSTON (AP) - Thieves have stolen 274 guns, including rifles and handguns, in an organized crime spree targeting gun stores and pawn shops in the Houston area.

Authorities at a Crime Stoppers news conference Thursday said the culprits struck at night when businesses were closed.

Gary Orchowski, a special agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says the burglaries "are not smash & grab."

Officials say the well-orchestrated thefts from Dec. 2 to Jan. 14 may involve as many as seven people.

The Houston Chronicle reports Friday that three masked men carrying two-way radios were arrested in Spring, Texas, during the latest roof-top heist. They were charged with engaging in criminal activity.

So far only one gun has been recovered and it was used in an out-of-state crime.

Information from: Houston Chronicle