Springfield man guilty in gun store break-ins

A Springfield ex-con has been convicted of stealing 25 guns from a Vandalia gun store earlier this year.

Denard Smith, 33, was found guilty on 25 first degree felony counts of grand theft of firearms.

Montomery County Prosecuting Attorney Mathias Heck said Smith busted in to the gun store after hours and stole the handguns from the shop back in February.

Smith is in the Montgomery County jail on a half-million dollar bond. Smith’s been to prison twice on prior, unrelated break in convictions.

Heck said, “This same gun store has been targeted many times, including 42 guns that were stolen in August 2015. Stolen guns end up on the street and are often used by

criminals to commit additional crimes. This defendant is a career criminal, and must be institutionalized.”

UPDATE @ 4:16 p.m. (March 1)

Denard Smith was arraigned Tuesday in Montgomery Common Pleas Court. The court entered a not guilty plea for him, according to a court clerk.

Smith’s bond is set at $100,000, and he was appointed a public defender.

His next hearing, a scheduling conference, is set for March 17.

UPDATE @ 2:46 p.m. (Feb. 25)

Denard C. Smith, 33, of Springfield has been indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury in connection to a break-in at a Vandalia gun shop and theft of 25 handguns.

Smith is accused of breaking into Vandalia Range & Armory Feb. 7.

Smith has been indicted on 25 counts of grand theft of a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer; 25 counts of having weapons while under disability; and one count of breaking and entering.

All of the grand theft counts, which are first‐degree felonies, include a one‐year gun specification because the defendant committed a theft offense involving a firearm, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Smith is in Montgomery County Jail on $500,000 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned March 1.

“This gun store has been targeted in the past, including 42 guns that were stolen from there last August,” said Prosecutor Mat Heck in a release. “These stolen guns end up on the street and are often used by criminals to commit additional crimes.”

UDPATE @ 2:45 p.m. (Feb. 10)

Denard C. Smith, 33, has been charged with 25 felony charges of grand theft of a firearm, a first-degree felony, and one count of breaking and entering in connection with the break-in at Vandalia Range & Armory and the theft of 25 guns, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

He’s in Clark County Jail, where he’s been since Sunday night on unrelated charges.

He will be brought to Montgomery County Jail after he bonds out at Clark County.

UPDATE @ 11:31 a.m. (Feb. 8)

At least 10 firearms were stolen during a break-in at the Vandalia Range and Armory Sunday morning, according to police.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is now involved in the investigation, police said.

INITIAL REPORT (Feb. 7)

Firearms were stolen from a Vandalia gun store early Sunday morning.

Vandalia police received a call shortly after 3:20 a.m. Sunday of an alarm going off at the Vandalia Range and Armory, 100 Corporate Center Drive.

Officers found a smashed window on the south side of the building, according to Sgt. Gary Jackson.

Not many details are being released because its an ongoing investigation, but Jackson did say all firearms stolen were handguns.

No arrests have been made and it’s unclear whether investigators are zeroing in on a suspect.

This follows a break-in at the same store in August 2015 when at least 30 firearms were taken. Two people were recently sentenced in that case. Investigators had said the suspects sold the guns to “drug dealers.”

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