Savage Arms, a firearm manufacturer just north of Peterborough, Ont., says a weekend theft of more than 2,000 firearms in the city involves its products.
In an email to Global News Peterborough sent around 10:30 a.m. Monday, Savage Arms president/CEO Al Kasper says the theft of a truck and trailer carrying firearms early Sunday involved a shipping partner of the company based in Lakefield, the village located about 15 kilometres north of the city.
According to the Peterborough Police Service, the theft occurred around 3 a.m. Sunday from a yard at a trucking company on Parkhill Road East in Peterborough. Police said the truck was carrying more than 2,000 firearms with magazines but no ammunition was taken.
“The incident involved Savage Arms products,” Kasper said. “Strict security measures were in place and local authorities were notified immediately and are leading the active investigation.
“Given the active nature of the case, we will not comment further at this time,” Kasper said.
Police on Monday afternoon said the firearms stolen were of a “small calibre” with the magazines attached.
“We can also confirm that no ammunition for the firearms was within the trailer,” police said.
Police said to date the investigation is leaning toward an “isolated crime of opportunity” rather than a targeted incident.
“It’s believed the suspects entered several other commercial yards in the city, before this one and that they had attempted to take different trucks and trailers before leaving with the trailer being sought in this incident,” police stated.
The stolen truck is described as a 2019 Freightliner New Cascadia 126 with Ontario licence plate 938 2PV. The white truck has the company name in red on the doors and a red “#97” on the side of the hood.
The trailer was a 2014 Hyundai 53-foot dry freight van trailer with licence plate V3092A. The white trailer has a silver metallic line that runs horizontally the whole length of the trailer.
Police say the suspects arrived in a blue four-door sedan which left the scene with the tractor trailer unit.
“The focus of the investigation is currently on locating the trailer and its contents as well as uploading the stolen firearms onto the national database,” police said. “The Peterborough police are also working with other enforcement agencies including the OPP, RCMP, Homeland Security, Canada Border Services Agency and other municipal services.
“The trucking company and the firearm manufacturer are fully cooperating with the police on this investigation,” police added.
Savage Arms marked its 50th anniversary in 2019 and employs up to 240 people. The company has said its plant builds 700 rifles a day and can make 370,000 units per year, specializing in shotguns, handguns and more.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Const. Mike Penney at the Peterborough Police Service at 705-876-1122 ext. 232 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at stopcrimehere.ca
— with files from Sam Houpt, Global News Peterborough
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