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Last Thursday's theft of 64 guns at Classic Firearms in Lizella was the third big gun store theft in Macon-Bibb this year.

Back in April, 10 pistols were stolen from the Macon Pawn and Gun Shopon Mercer University Drive in Macon when a truck rammed through thedoor. Some of those weapons ended up involved in a murder in MonroeCounty.

And in September, 17 semi-automatic weapons were taken from the Bass Pro shops. Arrests were made in that case during a traffic stop in Atlanta.

Bibb County Sheriff David Davis says when thieves target shops and steal a larger number of guns, they usually have a plan to try and sell them for money or drugs quickly, which is why quick investigations are key.

"Next thing you know, we make a couple of arrests and these people who are arrested are know to law enforcement and so we find of those weapons," he says.

Numbers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms show last year, Georgia was second only to Texas in the number of lost or stolen guns, standing at 12,906.

While store thefts account for a lot of guns being taken at once, David says smaller home and car break-ins are the most common, but sometimes harder to trace because individuals are less likely to save their guns' serial number than stores are.

He says his advice is whether a private owner or shop manager, make sure guns are secured and the serial number is on hand.