3 arrested in Va. gun store burglaries

WASHINGTON — Three suspects described as lightning-fast burglars have been arrested in a series of three area gun store thefts over the last 10 days.

Authorities said a tip led them to Preston G. Holmes, 23; Matthew D. Jones, 23; and Daniel L. Quarles, 19.

A news release from the U.S. attorney’s office for the eastern district of Virginia states that all the men are “local,” suggesting that they may live in Alexandria.

The men face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if convicted.

In the March 11 burglary of 50 West Armory in Chantilly, Virginia, the men allegedly stole 35 semi-automatic handguns in 45 seconds. Holmes, Jones and Quarles are also believed to be responsible for burglarizing ASH Tactical and SSG Tactical in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on March 14.

Scott Wahl, a manager at the Chantilly store, said the burglars busted the glass in the front door, destroyed display cases and took $25,000 worth of firearms.

“It’s not good for us, it’s not good for our customers and it’s not good for pro-Second-Amendment people when you have stolen firearms that go out on the market,” Wahl said.

With the serial numbers on record and a database of all the guns missing, Wahl said, the people who took them were limited in what they could do with them.

“They’re almost worthless to anybody, other than a criminal who is going to sell them to another criminal,” he said.

Police in Maryland believe at least two suspects were involved in the March 9 burglary of United Gun Shop in Rockville.

Federal and local authorities have yet to comment on whether the Maryland and Virginia burglaries are believed to be related.

WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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