Stolen Guns Retrieved, Five Arrested

July 18, 2007

Reported by Jordan Sandler

Five people are behind bars tonight in connection to the two handguns stolen from a Lake Charles firearms dealer.

Tuesday night on 7-News, we showed you surveillance video of three suspects walking through the firearms dealer.

An ex-probations officer saw our video, and helped identify one of the suspects.

As of Wednesday morning, both firearms stolen from the store had been recovered, and five suspects were behind bars.  Four of them, age 15 and younger.

It was Saturday that a 15, 13 and 10 year old shop-lifted two hand guns from a Lake Charles firearms dealer.  How?

"The clerk was helping other customers," says Corporal Franklin Fondel of the Lake Charles Police Department.  "It was during the daytime, other customers were inside the business, at which time they were unable to see any type of activity. "

Two of the kids saw the two handguns sitting unlocked on a shelf behind the counter.

"He jumped up to the counter and he held him by the legs as he reached over to retrieve the weapons, and then concealed them under their clothes and they left the business. "

The three kids fled by foot, and later gave one of the guns to 17-year-old Kendrick Bartie of Lake Charles.  Bartie sold that gun to another 15 year old.

After our broadcast, all 3 juveniles in the store were arrested late last night.

Bartie and the juvenile he sold the gun to were arrested around 8am this morning.

The Lake Charles Police Department is not releasing the name of the firearms dealer at this time.  They say it's still part of their investigation.

The LCPD will not pursue criminal charges against the firearms dealer.