St. Louis Park gun store increases security to deter burglars

- As Lakeville police continue to look for the thieves responsible for a recent smash and grab at a local gun shop, it makes other gun shop owners pause and evaluate their own security. 

On Dec. 8, 2009, 18 handguns were stolen from Frontiersman Sports, a gun shop in St. Louis Park. The next year, three people were murdered at the Seward Market in a robbery attempt in south Minneapolis. A handgun used in that horrific crime turned out to be stolen from Frontiersman.

Since then, staff at the Frontiersman made sure to fortify their security. At least one potential gun thief found that out a few years ago.

“He tried to ram through a back door,” said Kory Krause, the owner of the Frontiersman. “Heavily fortified back door, he hit it like nine or ten times, he couldn’t, barely got the door to bend - wasn’t even enough to set the alarm off.”

Outside the store are large boulders, two layers of metal bars and cameras everywhere. Step inside and you’ve essentially walked into a safe, where about 2,000 guns are highly protected.

“You’re not going to get a car through here and through here and you’ve got those reinforced walls there as well,” said Krause.

There are multiple alarms. The walls are reinforced, essentially un-smashable. The backdoor, where the thieves gained entry in 2009, is now virtually impossible to penetrate. Even if someone does, he’d be surrounded by three locked metal doors.

“They can’t get through it with a car, that one’s been tried and true and if they did again they would be locked in a room where there are no guns,” said Krause.

Krause knows where there’s a will there’s a way, but he says he’s confident his security will at least delay a thief - and he only needs 60 seconds.

“It’s all about delay,” he said. “You can’t prevent everything, but if you can delay it a minute, then the police arrive.”

Workers at Frontiersman say free-standing stores are easier to reinforce than shops in a strip mall. As for the recent Lakeville gun shop burglary, police have received quite a few tips, but so far, there have been no arrests.

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