After three burglaries in the last three days many people are wondering if gun shops in the Twin Tiers will tighten up their security to prevent yet another robbery.
Hesselson’s in Elmira Heights is a popular spot for people shopping for hunting guns. Owner Tom Witzel says even after the recent burglaries he’s not worried about a break in at his store.
“We do have two security systems in the store so we have a regular security system which alerts the police department and there’s a backup system to that too,” Witzel says, “Plus the fact that Elmira Heights Police Department is like right behind us, so they kind of circle the building already 10 to 12 times a night.”
Although security at Hesselson’s is in good shape, Witzel doesn’t think his shop would be a target.
“We don’t carry handguns which is a big part of what these guys are going after,” Witzel says.
Even with ample security there is no guarantee that someone won’t still get in.
“Desperate people do desperate things so it’s an unfortunate incident. It’s kind of like anything, people rob banks, people rob jewelry stores so even though they have security systems or even security guards on hand if people want to do something they’re going to try to get away with it,” Witzel says.
But instead of a bag full of cash or expensive jewelry these criminals are walking away with dozens of guns. Though Hesselson’s only sells hunting guns, Witzel says he does see people looking to use a firearm to defend themselves, though he recommends a different approach.
“We’ve always said the best self defense is to get a barking dog that’s always a good way to deter an intruder,” Witzel says.
Witzel says he’s confident Hesselson’s has everything needed to keep thieves out. Other gun shops in the area also say they have a variety of security features installed to prevent further robberies.