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2 Gun Stores Are Targeted by Thieves : Crime: Intruders are kept out of a chain’s Van Nuys shop. Later a pair breaks into the Agoura Hills outlet, then surrenders.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It was a good and bad night for Scott Ehredt but a truly lousy one for the people who tried to break into two of his Gun World shops.

At 12:30 a.m. Thursday, Ehredt--general manager of the chain’s six stores--faced the prospect of an uncomfortable night on a couch in the shop’s Van Nuys branch after someone had smashed its glass front door while trying to break in.

Ehredt was pleased that a loud alarm and a wrought iron gate had kept the intruders out, but because the store was left unsecured, he decided to stay at the shop until the glass door was repaired.

But about two hours later, he got a call from a colleague who informed him that someone had broken into Gun World’s Agoura Hills store as well.

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This time, they had gotten inside.

So, after finding someone to watch over the Van Nuys store, he drove across the Valley in time to watch a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Weapons Team talk two men into surrendering.

“The good news is that we got two bad guys and no one got any guns,” a weary Ehredt said early Thursday morning.

Arrested in the second attempt were Angel Ortiz Gomez, 23, and Adan Lopez Perez, 24, described by authorities as transients.

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Authorities said they are investigating whether the two robbery attempts are connected or if there are any ties between them and an October burglary at the Gun World in Van Nuys, in which thieves dug a tunnel under the store and got away with about 30 guns.

There have been at least three unsuccessful burglary attempts at Gun World stores since the October theft, Ehredt said.

Sheriff’s spokesman Pat Hunter said the Agoura Hills attempt started about 2:30 a.m. after two men broke into a vacant store next to the gun shop at 8708 Roadside Drive and were able to climb through a crawl space in the ceiling to Gun World.

But from there, things went downhill for the would-be burglars.

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With the burglar alarm ringing loudly, the men quickly tossed three rifles on the floor of the vacant store and attempted to get away, Hunter said. When two deputies answered the alarm and arrived before the men could escape, the men had little choice but to hole up for several hours, he said.

Meanwhile, deputies called in a K-9 unit and, later, a special weapons team, which was able to talk the men out, Hunter said.

After surrendering at 8:30 a.m., Gomez and Perez were booked for commercial burglary. They are being held in lieu of $10,000 bail, sheriff’s spokesman Gabe Ramirez said.


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