Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stolen SWAT Team Assault Weapons Recovered

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Memphis Police have recovered most of the assault weapons stolen from a North Carolina SWAT team van parked outside Interstate Bar-B-Que on South Third Monday afternoon.

Clent Green and Brian Bowles were both arrested in connection with the incident, and charges are pending while other persons of interest are questioned. Bowles was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, after police discovered the getaway car (a 2006 Ford Expedition) used in the SWAT van burglary was also stolen.

Three assault rifles and three shotguns were recovered yesterday, and police continue to search for two stolen .357 handguns.

"From the moment that these weapons were stolen, our officers have worked tirelessly to recover these weapons that had fallen into the hands of these criminals," says police director Larry Godwin.

At a press conference Thursday morning, police detailed a timeline of criminal activity leading up to the weapons theft:

April 19th: A 2006 Ford Expedition was reported stolen from a hotel parking lot in Tunica.

April 20th: A MED employee reports the theft of his license plate (which was later discovered on the Expedition).

April 23rd: Around 9 a.m., a witness reports seeing a man get out of the stolen Expedition and attempt to pry open the door of a Ford pick-up. After spotting the witness, the suspect ran to the stolen SUV and fled.

At 3:36 p.m., visiting Wake County, North Carolina SWAT officers report the theft of eight weapons from their van. They had stopped in Memphis to eat on their way to a weapons competition in Arkansas.

April 24th: The abandoned Expedition was recovered by officers in Millington. Stolen property inside the vehicle was linked to another car burglary that occurred in Whitehaven on April 21st. CSI investigators managed to link the goods to Green and Bowles.

Later that day, acting on a tip, a Memphis police officer recovers one of the stole weapons.

April 25th: Memphis police locate and arrest Green. At his residence, police discover stolen items from yet another auto burglary. Later, police recover five more weapons. They locate and arrest Bowles.

—Bianca Phillips

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