DES MOINES, Iowa -- The arrests made in connection with a string of snatch and grabs at metro gun shops are comforting for victims like JLM Gun Shoppe owner Mike Sporer of Urbandale. "The ATF did a fantastic job. Your talking about just a few days and they had the guy in custody." While David Marken Aikoriegie and Myles Jordan Maricle Pena, both of Des Moines remain behind bars. The metro is not quite in the clear. From the one robbery at JLM in November and two robberies at Range Masters in Clive, Police Chief Michael Venema says only six of the thirty weapons stolen, which included two rifles and seven fully-automatics from Range Masters, have been recovered. "We have four hand guns and two automatic weapons," said Chief Venema.
Out of the twenty-four still unaccounted for, it is possible that five fully automatic weapons and both rifles are still floating around illegally. Chief Venema understands the cause for alarm. He said, "Those weapons have been sold or transferred to other people so there is a number of those weapons still out there on the street."
A major development in the case came from a neighboring community. "The first break in the case was from a Des Moines police officer investigating a drive by shooting. Venema said, "He got into a car and recovered one of our stolen weapons and that led from one name to another."
Since the robbery at JLM, Sporer has stepped up his security. He has added laminate to his windows and gun display cases. "You could hit these with a sledge hammer and they wouldn't break," said Sporer. There is one more security measure Mike Sporer would love to make. It starts right here at the windows but it is an enhancement the city just won`t allow. "One thing that would help with these Des Moines suburbs is you cannot bar your windows because they don't think it looks good . That would be a big help. That would eliminate the chance of a robbery here.," said Sporer.
Sporer says the crime was just the first time his store has been robbed since opening in 1988.