WPD: Stolen van found behind burglarized gun shop

WATSONVILLE — When Watsonville Police responded to a burglary at Markley’s Indoor Range and Gun Shop early Wednesday morning, they discovered a broken display case, and learned that an undisclosed amount of guns were stolen.

They also found a van parked in the rear of the business, which police learned had been stolen from the Aptos area the same morning.

That new detail was revealed in a press release Thursday afternoon, which otherwise contained no new information.

At least two-dozen police officers, including a Special Response Unit, responded to the business Wednesday at about 6:30 a.m.

Watsonville Police Sgt. Brian Ridgway said there was a trail of guns and ammo leading up to the door.

Police shut down Blanca Lane between Freedom Boulevard and Vic Rugh Lane during the response, which drew multiple law agencies from as far away as Santa Cruz.

Police initially tried to clear the building, but were unsure if possible suspects were still indoors in areas not immediately accessible.

About noon heavily-armed police entered the business, and spent hours clearing the building in a search that included the use of a thermal imaging camera.

About 2:30 p.m. police found a loaded gun.

The nearby Hearts and Hands Christian Child Care and Preschool, and the Center for Employment Training were placed on lockdown throughout the ordeal.

Police finished clearing the building around 4:30 p.m. No suspects were located, and no injuries were reported.

The burglary is still under investigation. 

Anyone information is asked to contact the WPD Investigation Division at 768-3350 or the Crime Tip Line at 768-3544.


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