HELENA-WEST HELENA, AR (WMC) - Helena-West Helena officers are looking for the people who stole 30 guns from a former police chief's home.
The chief's family currently lives at the home. When the owner arrived at the house Tuesday morning, neighbors told them they heard a noise and saw several men outside the house on Terry Street.
A back window to the house was broken. Officers on the scene discovered the house had been ransacked, and guns and ammunition were stolen. The homeowner said there was a gun safe inside the house, but the safe was badly damaged.
The owner said the safe had about 30 guns inside, including rifles, handguns, and even some assault rifles.
Helena-West Helena Police Chief Virgil Green said the house belonged to a former Helena-West Helena police chief who passed away four years ago. Assistant Chief Ronald Scott said the former chief was a gun collector, which is why there were so many guns in the house. Neighbors said the man who now lives in the home is a relative of the former chief.
"It's very important we find these weapons due to the types of guns they are," Chief Virgil Green said. He added that teenagers getting hold of dangerous weapons is a serious problem in the community. Police rely on residents to call 911 when they see suspicious activity.
This is not the first gun crime in the area. Last week a 16-year-old was arrested for possession of a handgun. In January, a group of teens shot a man 11 times at the Beechwood Apartments.
Police are offering $1,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest and ultimately that gets these guns off the streets.
The Helena-West Helena Police Department is asking anyone with information to call (870) 572-3441 or send a message to the department's Facebook page.