Military assault weapons missing after break-in at Massachusetts armory

© John Gress
More than a dozen guns were stolen from a secure vault when a US Army Reserve armory was broken into in Worcester, Massachusetts over the weekend, according to law enforcement. The intrusion did not set off alarms.

Law enforcement reported that a man broke into the Lincoln Army Reserve Center between Saturday evening and Sunday morning and made off with 16 weapons, according to the Associated Press. The authorities are still trying to determine how it happened, however.

An unidentified suspect with light skin, a stocky frame, wearing a white T-shirt and a dark vest was caught on video surveillance, according to WBZ-TV. He was reportedly driving a dark BMW hatchback.

Firefighters and police responded to a call on Sunday morning after an employee reported smoke and signs of a break-in. Investigators said the thieves snuck in through the reserve center’s roof and cut a hole into the vault once inside, according to WCVB.

Among the weapons stolen were six M4 assault rifles, 10 pistols, and several long guns, according to officials who spoke to the Daily Beast.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said some of the weapons were high caliber.

“I’m especially concerned about it — separate and apart from anything that has to do with terrorism — I’m just concerned by the fact that some really high caliber weapons were stolen from a military facility in the first place,” Baker told reporters Monday, according to AP.

Baker said he wasn’t aware of any specific threat to the public and that local law enforcement was working with the FBI in the investigation. The FBI is looking into the gun heist, but has said the break-in is not considered a terrorist threat.

Military officials told WCVB that a burglary of this kind is a first for the Army’s 5,000 stand-alone armories. The missing weapons have been entered into a national database and federal, state and local police have all been alerted, said Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the FBI.