DENVER (KKTV) - In a single year, more than 400 guns have been stolen from stores across the state of Colorado.
Crooks can be seen mid break-in at Dragonmans on Aug. 28. Bernstein allowed 11 News to view and film the footage.
Federal authorities announced charges against 16 people Tuesday, including four allegedly involved in an Aug. 28 smash-and-grab at Dragonmans shooting range just east of Colorado Springs. The crime -- an inside job orchestrated by the one-time stepdaughter of Mel "Dragon Man" Bernstein according to the indictments -- involved four burglars using Bernstein's own work truck to ram open a building housing guns, then stealing more than 65 firearms. Surveillance video shows the suspects running in and out of the building with guns practically falling out of their arms.
Bernstein told 11 News partner The Gazette his former stepdaughter invited him out to dinner out of the blue, then secretly dropped off four masked burglars including her teen son behind his business. Her alleged crew got to work after she drove Bernstein off the property.
Just a few days before Dragonmans was burglarized, a similar smash-and-grab was reported at a Thornton Cabela's, where crooks drove a truck into the building to steal more than 50 firearms. Other cases authorities are looking at include a theft at the Top Dollar Pawn in the Springs and a gun store theft in Denver.
“Stolen guns go straight into the hands of criminals, not hunters and target shooters. The people who bring this violence into our communities will be introduced to federal justice, up close and personal, for a long time," said acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer.
Which allegedly was the case for the crew who stole from Bernstein -- he told The Gazette they planned to sell the weapons to Pueblo gang members.
Troyer said the penalties the 16 suspects are facing for these various crimes are steep.
"We will be relentless. If someone is involved, we will find them. A potential ten-year prison sentence is a significant punishment for two minutes of crime.”