Last February Mobile Police chased a stolen white SUV into a neighborhood off Cottage Hill in West Mobile. The chase ended when the suspects hit a tree. Inside that SUV, police say, were 11 stolen guns. A search of the suspects home yielded two more stolen guns.
Public Safety Director James Barber tells NBC 15 News this incident put Marco Perez on their radar. While Perez wasn't in the vehicle, Barber says his name came up during the investigation.
Barber says during this time a rash of gun thefts were happening in the city and the feds got involved.
By November Perez was federally indicted for having a stolen Ruger .380 caliber handgun.
Just one gun, Public Safety Director James Barber says, stolen and sold in a local gun theft ring.
“They're sold on the street for pennies on the dollar basically anywhere from $40 - $100. whatever they can for these guns,” said Barber
Perez is accused of shooting and killing Officer Sean Tuder January 20, 2019, with a stolen gun.
Barber urges everyone to keep their guns locked up. Not only for the safety of his officers, but also for your safety, too. In the last two years he says nearly 1,200 have been stolen from vehicles in Mobile, 80% of time the cars are left unlocked making it easy for the crooks.