ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Ark. — Dozens of guns were stolen from a former sporting goods store in Arkansas, and while some guns have been recovered, the case is far from closed.
Dorma and Ted Huffstuttler owned and operated Ted’s Marine and Sporting Goods in the community of Colt for more than 40 years, but closed up their shop a few years ago after Ted suffered a heart attack.
But they didn’t quite let it go. They kept the spot for storage, every now and then still serving longtime customers.
A little more than a week ago, Ted came to check on his store.
“When I unlocked the door I said, ‘Oh me!’ Oil was everywhere,” he said.
But that was far from the worst of their problems. Immediately he saw the store’s safe had been broken into and racks that usually hold guns were empty. The shelves inside the safe were empty, too.
The Huffstuttlers estimate more than 40 guns were stolen, many historical, with sentimental value. They even had a fully automatic gun taken.
Now empty boxes litter the floor. They once held rare coins but those gone too.
But the Huffstuttlers say it’s more than just the guns. They feel violated, now robbed of their future too.
“Of course the reason we kept the guns is that would be our retirement, because you don’t have very much retirement when you work for yourself, and we were gonna sell those,” Dorma said. “That was going to be our retirement.”
Insurance is apparently not covering the couple’s losses.
Through tips, deputies tracked down the pair they say are responsible.
Tommy and Tyler Immel have been arrested and charged. Deputies say the father and son broke into the shop three separate times, coming in through a now boarded-up window. They carried their stash through fields, over railroad tracks, using a wagon.
Another man was also arrested for purchasing the fully automatic gun. He’s being held in jail in Cross County.
As for the oil all over the store’s floor, the Huffstuttlers believe the duo planned to set the place on fire. Despite the massive theft and mess the couple is still thankful to have their store.
Deputies say so far 25 guns, along with some ammunition and gold coins, have been recovered. They say the public’s help has been crucial.
“Even though they wanted to remain anonymous, they certainly helped us tremendously in this case,” said Capt. Eddie Adamson with the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office.
If you have more information make sure you call the St. Francis County Sheriffs Office.