Federal officials from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spent Friday searching for 100 rifles that were stolen from a railcar. The boxcar, which was compromised sometime around Nov. 12, was sitting in a CSX rail yard four miles away from Atlanta, Ga.
Authorities told the Associated Press the weapons were assault weapons in the “AK-style.” A representative for CSX Corp., Gary Sease, said the Jacksonville-based company was working with the ATF to get to the bottom of what happened.
“When any crime occurs, but especially any crime involving safety, we prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law and work in close cooperation with partners in law enforcement agencies,” Sease said.
CSX Corp has its own security force, which polices the 21,000 miles of track that covers 23 states.
WSBTV in Atlanta reported that the thieves made off with close to 120 guns, and local residents were not pleased, saying the surveillance cameras and patrols that are in place were obviously not enough to stop a crime like this from happening.
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“I’d hate to think why anybody would want to steal that many guns,” one Atlanta resident told the news network.
“If they know there’s that type of equipment on there, there should be tighter security,” said another.
Last month Yahoo! reported that Atlanta is ranked No. 8 on the list of most dangerous cities in America with approximately 1,433 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. The southern city also reported 34.9 forcible rapes per 100,000 residents, higher than the national average of 26.8 forcible rapes.
Still, major gun thefts such as this are rare. Criminals attain weapons by purchasing them from illegitimate manufacturers or licensed dealers that operate profitable yet illegal side businesses, according to PBS Frontline. Simply put, stealing firearms usually just takes too much time and effort for what is normally a relatively small benefit.