ATF now investigating armed robbery at Florence pawn shop after several firearms stolen

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The Florence Department, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, are investigating an armed robbery at Rick's Pawn Shop in Florence.

It happened Thursday afternoon on East Palmetto Street around 2:00 p.m. when an employee was beaten up and held at gunpoint while four masked men stole several firearms and ran off in an unknown direction.

Lt. Mike Brandt with the Florence Police Department said ATF arrived shortly after the incident to assist in the investigation. "We understand the concern the public has with the number of firearms being out on the street and are working diligently to resolve this matter," Brandt said.

FPD can't yet release how many guns the men stole, and ATF is working with the forensics team to release surveillance photos of the suspects and gather all evidence.

"It's troubling to have firearms stolen in this manner and get in the hands of criminals. It doesn't matter what their intent is, it's typically not good. We want to bring this to a resolution and recover those guns as soon as possible," Brandt said.

People are alleging to be weary of the robbery through social media making claims the suspects are gang related and to not go to Magnolia Mall in Florence. “That is one of those incidents under investigation, we have seen allegations on social media feeds that want to tie that into other incidents in the past. We are looking into the credibility and moving to respond appropriately. Not just in light of Rick’s or anything else that comes out, we want our citizens to be aware of what’s going on and notify us when they see something. See something, say something," Brandt added.

Brandt asked the public not to resort to social media first. "We receive a myriad of threats on a regular basis and we investigate each claim to find out their credibility and we don't make all of them public, because that would cause a panic, because most of the time they aren't credible."

Stick with WMBF News as more information on the four suspects and stolen guns becomes available.

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