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Suspect in gun store robberies indicted on federal weapons charges

Posted: 4:43 PM, Aug 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-01 16:43:47-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A man on parole for home invasion faces federal charges in a series of recent gun thefts.

Federal documents show that Tommy Lee Libbett, Jr. admitted to a Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he, along with some others, broke into two West Michigan gun shops and stole over two dozen guns.

Libbett told the agent that in the early morning hours of July 14, he and other broke into Armory Valentine in Kentwood and stole several firearms. A little while later, they broke into Imperial Gunworx in Sparta and stole several more guns.  Libbett said that he put the stolen guns in a backpack and hid them in an unoccupied house on 39th Street SW in Wyoming.

Later on the afternoon of July 14, Wyoming Police were called to the home on reports of suspicious activity. Libbett and two others were found at 35th Street and Buchanan SW. Libbett fled police while carrying a backpack, but returned to police without it. Police detained all three subjects and found the backpack, which held nine guns that had been stolen from Imperial Gunworx. Another gun was found at the home on 39th Street SW that had been taken from Armory Valentine.

Imperial Gunworx reported 20 guns were stolen. Armory Valentine reported missing six guns.  Police have located more of the guns that had been stolen in those burglaries.  All of the weapons stolen were semi-automatic handguns, except one AM-15 assault rifle, one 12-gauge shotgun and one Colt, Modular Carbine.