Elderly man abducted in terrifying gun shop heist

Robbers were caught on CCTV carrying out a raid of a gun shop.
Robbers were caught on CCTV carrying out a raid of a gun shop.

BRAZEN thieves kidnapped the 81-year-old owner of a Perth gun shop in a terrifying heist before making off with the contents of an armoury.

The men rammed into the owner’s car and forced him to open an armory full of weapons, before holding him captive as they raided the store, stealing nearly 100 handguns and ammunition.

Detectives from Taskforce Newstead are investigating the raid, which happened on Thursday night at Barry & Son Firearms on Clapham Street in Beckenham.

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson. Photo: AAP

It’s the second time the store has been targeted. A total of 174 guns were stolen in 2017, with about 14 found in the possession of bikies.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson told 6PR the 81-year-old man, who was the key operator of the business, was cable tied and abducted to be taken back to the premises after he left.

“He was abducted for, we think, up to an hour,” he said.

“He was forced to open the very well secured armory there, that has been significantly enhanced given the earlier theft that occurred two and a half years ago.

“He’s been treated for some, fortunately, minor injuries at the moment but given his age, we’re quite concerned about his health.”

Police believed nearly 100 handguns have been stolen but they were still in the process of auditing.

The van involved in the raid.

WA Police confirmed the Regional Investigations Unit was investigating the robbery, which happened between 7pm and 7.45pm on Thursday.

“About 7pm an 81-year-old staff member from the Barry & Sons Firearms shop left work,” police said in a statement.

“While stationary at the intersection of Albany Highway and Austin Avenue in Beckenham his vehicle was struck from behind by a white van.

“Both vehicles stopped around the corner from the crash location, and at this time the victim was kidnapped and placed in the rear of the van. The victim, who was restrained, was unable to escape.

“The victim was driven to the store where two men involved in the incident, stole a large number of firearms and an amount of ammunition.”

The van is believed to be a Mercedes Sprinter or similar, and had registration ‘PH 10279’. Police believe the number plates were stolen from a vehicle earlier in the day, and it is likely they are no longer on the van.

Police were alerted to the incident about 8pm when a hold-up alarm was activated.

The victim was taken to hospital as a precaution due to his age, but suffered no serious injuries despite being held against his will for approximately 40 minutes.

Anyone with dash cam footage near Clapham Street, Albany Highway and Kenwick link at about the time of the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or WA Police on 131 444.