Guns stolen in Worm Ranch burglary

Twenty-seven firearms, ammunition and a knife were liften in an overnight heist at the Wallula Avenue business, officials said.

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WALLA WALLA -- More than two dozen firearms were taken from a local tackle shop in an overnight burglary earlier this week.

The Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office reports that the Walla Walla Worm Ranch, at 1186 Wallula Ave., was broken into by at least a couple of people sometime overnight Monday or early Tuesday.

Employees of the shop arrived Tuesday to open for the day to find 18 handguns, nine rifles, or long guns, and ammunition had been taken, according to a report. A 12- to 14-inch knife with a brass knuckle handle was also taken, said Sheriff's Capt. Bill White.

The suspects are believed to have entered the shop through a roof vent or other opening, gone right for the desired items, and left through the front. Exit was gained by breaking a small window, White said.

White said his department believes more than one person was involved in the burglary because of footprints found in the snow outdoors, and also because of the coordination of the heist.

White said it appears the suspects knew what they wanted, and had likely been in the shop before.

"It wasn't, 'let's look around and see if we can break into this store,'" he said.

"It seems to me it was pretty well planned. Whoever did this had been in there a couple of times."

The Worm Ranch was also targeted in an armed robbery that took place Sept. 11, 2008. Authorities eventually charged a 15-year-old girl and 18-year-old man with first-degree robbery.

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/schoolhousemissives.

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