SPRINGFIELD OR July 10 2017 — Police have arrested a man they say is responsible for stealing four assault rifles from the Gateway Cabela’s store in three separate audacious thefts.
Dennis Walter Rotherham, 30, who has no permanent address, was arrested Monday after Springfield police received a tip, Lt. Scott McKee said. Rotherham faces charges of second-degree burglary, four counts of felon in possession of a firearm and four counts of first-degree theft.
Police have recovered only one of the rifles and are seeking the others.
Police released a store surveillance video. “We are hoping someone may recall seeing Rotherham in or around the Gateway mall area of Cabela’s and may provide information that could lead to the recovery of the other rifles,” McKee said.
Police said Rotherham stole the rifles during daylight hours. On June 24, he allegedly took two Noveske brand assault rifles, valued at $2,500 each, from the gun area at the store, covered them with a piece of dark clothing and walked out of the store into the mall area, police said.
McKee said a merchant in the mall heard a muffled alarm beacon coming from under the piece of clothing and alerted Cabela’s staff.
Guns for sale at the store are equipped with proximity-activated alarm beacons that sound when the weapons leave the store, McKee said previously. Most weapons are not secured to a display case, and customers may remove them, he said.
The store reviewed the surveillance video and called police. Through the video review, store employees discovered that the thief had stolen two other guns on two previous occasions — a Century Arms assault rifle, worth $1,000 at 7:10 p.m. June 23, and a Lantac Raven assault rifle, worth $2,500, at 3:50 p.m. June 17, police said.
Police said they have recovered the Raven.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 541-726-3714.
According to court records, Rotherham was convicted of felony possession of heroin last year. He is currently on supervised probation in Lane County for that crime.
He also was convicted on second-degree burglary and second-degree criminal mischief in 2012.