Sumter, SC (WLTX) - After an attempted robbery at a gun store in Aiken, law enforcement officials believe there may be a connection to the robberies in the Midlands.
"My concern is that they connect it. I will be at ease and that way I can relax a little bit," said Tony Ashy.
Two weeks ago, thieves drove a truck into Tony's Guns in Sumter. They were in and out - leaving with weapons in less than a minute.
"The retail value on the guns are about $6,000," said Ashy.
When store owner Tony Ashy heard about the attempted gun robbery in Aiken it made him think that the robberies were connected.
Since his store was robbed he hasn't gotten much sleep.
"I sleep two hours a night and I have some of my workers sleep overnight in the store."
In April someone crashed a truck into the TT&H Gun store in Columbia to get inside and steal guns.
Deputy Curtis Wilson with the Richland County Sheriff's Department says they are getting new leads that show there could be a connection.
"Our investigators are very aggressive at trying to catch these criminals who are committing these crimes because it is very serious. It is very serious in nature when you are talking about weapons being involved," said Wilson.
Ashy says he hopes this trend of breaking into gun stores will stop so there won't be weapons in the wrong people's hands.
"It's not like you are breaking in a house to get a television and run, you are stealing a gun to kill," said Ashy.
He says if criminals would use the time spent plotting crimes - looking for a job instead... Then they wouldn't need to commit these crimes.
"Easy money is not the way to life, you have to work not steal."