Criminals don't let background checks stop them at Cincy-area gun store

Armed robbers net more than 30 guns in pre-opening Targetworld raid

Compiled t.v. news reports from Cincinnati's WKRC and News 5 paint an increasingly suspicious picture of a construction worker at Targetworld who says he was forced to give access to four armed, masked criminals who then stole a large number of guns.

According to WKRC, a call came into 911 around 8:30 a.m. yesterday. A temporary construction worker by the name of Jeno Ashley told the operator he was taking a smoke break when four men stormed the store and took the guns.

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Ashley: "They told me to get inside and then when I got inside they came in behind me. I ran across the room to the other door and hopped in my car."

911 Operator: "Okay, so are they still inside?"

Ashley: "I don't know."

News 5 quotes police as saying Ashley claimed to have slipped out the front while the four masked robbers were stealing guns, went around the back, got in his car and called police on his cell phone.

The owner of Target World, Joe Blanco, has been expanding and remodeling the store and had given access to the construction company after hours. Blanco told WKRC he has questions about the temporary worker. Blanco said that violated the contract he had with the construction company which forbade any workers being in the store alone. Police said the security system had been disengaged, and that the temporary worker had outstanding traffic warrants and is in police custody.

"You think about coming into a gun store where we have as many employees as we do and customers on the range with firearms, it's probably the worst place in the world to try and come rob," Blanco told News 5. "That's why these are some very suspicious circumstances."

"We've never been robbed... and we've been here since 1975. There have been thefts, but that's different from a robbery, if in fact a robbery happened. We really don't know that it did happen," Blanco told WKRC.

"They picked some guns they could move," said Blanco. "(The) hunting guns are still here. They took flashy guns like .45s, like the Desert Eagle."

An OFCC source says construction work was nearly complete, so it is likely the worker knew he would not have access to the store much longer.

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