WATERVILLE — Federal authorities have announced a $5,000 reward for information related to the theft last month of 14 handguns from a pawnshop in downtown Waterville.

The Boston field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently announced the reward.

The theft occurred just before 3 a.m. on April 10 when two people in masks smashed the glass door to J.R.’s Trading & Pawn at 100 Elm St. and entered the building, according to a recent news release from ATF.

The intruders then used a hammer to smash a glass display case so they could steal the guns.

J.R.’s Trading & Pawn, at the corner of Elm and Center streets, is a federally licensed firearms dealer. A man who answered the telephone at the store Thursday declined to comment on the burglary.

Two images taken from surveillance video were included in the ATF news release, and appear to show the burglars wearing hoodies as they took the guns from the display case.


Chief Joseph Massey of the Waterville Police Department said Thursday the investigation was ongoing and he hoped the reward will prompt further information on the burglary.

“We’re hoping this provides some leads or someone recognizes the people in the video and gives us a call. That would be very much appreciated,” Massey said. “We are very concerned that we have 14 handguns out there on the street that could be used in crimes.”

The reward is being offered jointly by ATF and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the gun industry. Each organization is contributing $2,500 toward the reward for information resulting in the arrest and prosecution of those responsible.

This is part of a national initiative between the two organizations, in which the foundation matches ATF rewards for cases involving thefts from federally licensed firearms dealers.

Anyone with information about the perpetrators or the burglary is asked to contact Waterville police at 207-680-4708 or email cfabian@waterville-me.gov, or contact ATF at 1-888-283-8477 or email ATFTips@atf.gov.

Tips can also be sent anonymously through the report it app, using “Boston Field Division” as the location.

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