ATF, NSSF offer $5,000 reward in robbery of Madison business


T. Michael Stone


The robbery of a Madison business has prompted the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, to offer a $5,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the burglary and theft of firearms from Steve’s Place on West Washington Street. ATF is offering a reward up to $2,500, which will be matched by the NSSF for a total reward up to $5,000.

This reward is part of a larger national cooperative initiative between the NSSF and ATF in which NSSF matches ATF rewards in cases involving the theft of firearms from federally licensed firearms retailers, according to a press release issued by the ATF. ATF works closely with members of the firearms industry to curb the criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms.

  1. with information about this crime should contact the ATF Gun Hotline at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (283-4867). Callers may remain anonymous, and anonymous reporting can be done via the ATF App Reportit.

"We take this crime very seriously," said SAC Wayne Dixie. “Firearms trafficking is a serious offense which results in significant federal prison time for the person or persons responsible."

According to business owner Steve Stempinski, the firearms, which included rifles and pistols, were valued at nearly $14,000.

The suspects also stole some brass jewelry, a small camera and paperwork related to Stempenski’s transactions.

According to an incident report obtained from the Madison Police Department, business owner Steve Stempinski noticed broken glass around the bottom of the front door when arrived to open at 11 a.m. on Oct. 26. The glass apparently came for the transom window above the door through which the thieves apparently gained access to the building.

Stempenski said the thieves tried to get inside through several other places, even climbing up on the roof and trying to push an air conditioning unit out of the window where it was bolted to the wall.

Burglar bars protect all the windows on the building.

The thieves also tried to pry open the front door and tried to drill the deadbolt lock without success.

The thief who got inside climbed through an opening only slightly large than 10 inches. A bar has since been installed to protect that window.

The suspect apparently handed the firearms to an accomplice outside one of the windows, and used a chair to get high enough to climb out.

Stempenski said officers responding to the scene estimated that the thieves must have spent more than an hour attempting to get inside.


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