LYON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Two suspected gang members who broke into an Oakland County gun store were arrested after police realized they had posed with the stolen guns in a Facebook video, authorities said.
The incident happened Sept. 21 at Huron Valley Guns on Grand River Avenue in Lyon Township, according to officials.
In addition to the Huron Valley Guns break-in, Dylan Hinkle, 18, and Emanuel Northern, 19, both of Grand Rapids, are also accused of breaking into Tactical Advantage Guns in Portage.
Officials said Hinkle and Northern stole numerous laser-equipped training pistols worth a total of more than $1,000 from Tactical Advantage Guns.
“Clearly, these individuals engaged in a criminal enterprise of breaking into gun stores and selling them into the criminal underworld,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “Without question, I believe these guns ultimately would have been involved in numerous other crimes and possibly homicide. Great cooperative police work with the agencies involved in taking these dangerous criminals off the street.”
Officials said the pair threw a concrete block through a window of Huron Valley Guns to get inside. Surveillance video captured images of their Jeep and clothing, according to police.
They didn’t successfully steal any weapons from Huron Valley Guns, authorities said.
Detectives sent notice to other police departments in the state alerting them about the break-in, and Portage police reported the similar break-in at Tactical Advantage Guns.
Authorities learned the break-in at Tactical Advantage Guns had happened just a few hours after the break-in at Huron Valley Guns.
Two of the three men involved, Hinkle and Northern, were identified due to their clothing by the Kent County Sheriff’s Office through Facebook posts, according to police.
A Kent County analyst later discovered a Facebook video of the two posing with the guns that they had stolen from Tactical Advantage Guns.
Grand Rapids police and U.S. Marshal’s officials began watching a house known to be occupied by one of the men, and a search warrant was executed Sept. 23, according to authorities.
Police said Hinkle and Northern were both arrested and identified themselves as gang members.
The third suspect has not been caught, according to officials.
Warrants were issued Tuesday (Sept. 28) in 52nd District Court charging Hinkle and Northern with breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny, which is a 10-year felony. The charge is linked to the Huron Valley Guns break-in, officials said.
The two men are being held in the Kent Count Jail on $50,000 bond on a federal charge of conducting a criminal enterprise as they await possible other charges, according to authorities.
Detectives said they believe the men had identified buyers for the stolen guns.