- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Three people are facing federal charges, accused of stealing dozens of guns by breaking into an Alabama store.

The thieves pried a metal door open, broke a window and crawled into Safford Tire and Hardware in Safford before dawn on May 10, taking about 50 guns, prosecutors said.

The three were identified from video surveillance, and officers apprehended Jabriel Bell the next day at the Travelers Inn in Selma, authorities said.

In an interview, Bell acknowledged burglarizing the store with Fortune Hoppins and Stanley Young, prosecutors said in court records.

After leaving the hardware store, Bell “began to run back to the vehicle carrying a bag of firearms when he noticed car lights coming down the road,” he told an agent during the interview, according to a court affidavit.

“Bell said that he left an unknown number of firearms in a bag in the woods where he briefly hid,” the affidavit states.

After Bell’s arrest, officers searched the woods and found 23 of the guns. Authorities said they were trying to recover the remaining weapons.

Hoppins was arrested at his girlfriend’s home in Marion Junction.

All three are charged with stealing firearms.

Lawyers for Bell and Hoppins didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment early Monday. Officers were trying to locate Young, court records state.

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