Baker's Guns in Blanco does not offer drive-thru service, but apparently the thieves that sacked the business early Wednesday, Jan. 14, did not get the memo.
Around 5:30 a.m., a stolen Ford F-250 was used to ram through the front of the building just one week after a huge bolder rolled from the back of a pickup truck failed to breach the double-paned window. But the door proved no match for the truck. Once inside, robbers stole thousands of dollars worth of handguns.
Now, multiple local, state and federal agencies, are cooperatively investigating the crime, according to Blanco Police Chief Mike Ritchey.
"There is an ongoing investigation," Ritchey said, adding the truck used to ram the front of the building was stolen in Austin.
Despite the carnage at the store, owners Amil and Carole Baker were in good spirits while surveying the mess left in the wake of the robbery.
"This was a professional job," Carole Baker surmised. "I don't know what their intension is [with the stolen guns], but we had a guy come in here the day before and he was acting strange. He was grinning at me as if he had a secret."
Ritchey said the suspect Carole Baker was referring to is a "person of interest," but declined to give a description because it might hinder the investigation. The store is equipped with security cameras.
Blanco Police Officer Jerry Thornhill discovered the previously attempted break in at Baker Guns on Monday, Jan. 5 at 5:26 a.m. while on patrol. The Bakers suspect the same assailants perpetrated both incidents; however, police are not publicly associating the two incidents.
The Bakers said local police had been actively watching the store at night.
"They [police] had a feeling that somebody was coming back," Carole Baker said. "They thought they would come back because they never got what they wanted inside the room."
While the double-paned glass door stopped a bolder, it was no match for the front end of a truck. Inside the store, broken glass from shattered display cases, along with bricks and wood from the building's frame were strewn about the floor.
Amil Baker looked at the frame of the double-paned glass door on the floor and shook his head.
"That door cost me $800 when it was new," Amil Baker recalled. "It was well worth the money."
The Bakers' store has been victimized by crime in the past, but this is the first time they believe that professionals were involved.
"We've had broken windows and that kind of stuff, but nothing even close to this," Carole Baker said. "It was usually just kids."
Ritchey said his department has been warned to be on alert for suspicious foreigners by federal authorities, but declined to comment on whether such warnings are related to the robbery at Baker's Guns.
Blanco Police are investigating the incident and are looking for information that may lead to the arrest and/or conviction of those responsible. Anyone with information may contact the police department at 830-833-4375, or Hill Country Area Crimestoppers at 1-866-756-8477.