Another large cache of guns was stolen from a Columbia pawnshop last week. Where all of them went remains unclear.

Tyler Hilderman, 26, was detained and booked Thursday at Boone County Jail for first-degree burglary, according to online jail records. During an interview with police, Hilderman admitted his involvement in stealing 66 guns from Tiger Pawn on Sept. 16, according to the probable cause statement for his arrest.

Alexander Michael Mears, 20, of Columbia was also arrested in connection with the burglary, according to a news release sent Saturday by the Columbia Police Department.

This is the third known time that guns have been stolen in burglaries of Columbia retailers since the beginning of the summer. Powder Horn Guns and Archery, a store in Columbia that sells sporting goods and firearms, was robbed twice this past June, according to previous Missourian reporting. In those robberies, 39 firearms were stolen. That makes 105 stolen firearms in Columbia in four months.

Hilderman also confirmed that he had kept one of the 66 stolen firearms and provided it to an unnamed woman, who then sold the gun.

When asked Friday if police know where the remaining 65 firearms are, Columbia Police Department spokesperson Jeff Pitts said the information is sensitive and could compromise the integrity of the investigation.

The arrests of Hilderman and Mears and search warrants in the case led to “the recovery of multiple stolen firearms from the Tiger Pawn burglary,” according to the Saturday news release. Police did not provide the exact number that were recovered.

“This is an active investigation so there is no further information to share,” Pitts said in an email.

John E. Ham, public information officer for the Kansas City Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told a reporter over the phone Tuesday that “some of the guns stolen from Powder Horn have been recovered” but did not provide an exact number.

Police request anyone with information on the suspect to call the department at 573-874-7652 or, to remain anonymous, CrimeStoppers at 573-875-TIPS.

  • Hi, I am a public safety and courthouse reporter. I am a senior pre-law student studying data journalism at The University of Missouri's School of Journalism. Reach me at huntergilbert@mail.missouri.edu or @ByHunterGilbert on Twitter

  • I'm a Public Safety & Health beat reporter at the Columbia Missourian, with past lives as a data scientist, academic researcher and defense contractor. You can reach me at spencernorris@mail.missouri.edu.

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