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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Suspect in 34-Gun Heist in St. Louis Facing Tennessee Charges

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 11:26 AM

click to enlarge As many as ten people helped steal a cache of weapons from Southside Pawn and Jewelry. - IMAGE VIA GOOGLE STREETVIEW
  • IMAGE VIA GOOGLE STREETVIEW
  • As many as ten people helped steal a cache of weapons from Southside Pawn and Jewelry.


A man who federal prosecutors says swiped 34 guns during a pawn shop burglary in Affton is also facing weapons charges in Tennessee.



Devante Coffie of Valley Park was arrested on Tuesday after investigators found social media posts in which he tried to sell guns stolen May 31 from Southside Pawn Shop, according to a criminal complaint.

During the early morning burglary, the nineteen-year-old and another, unnamed, person climbed on top of a minivan, busted out a second-floor window and crawled into the shop, authorities say. Once inside, the two pulled out guns and blasted open glass cases that held guns, according to the complaint.

Coffie is accused of stealing 32 semiautomatic handguns and two rifles during the break-in. Investigators monitored social media for gun sales in the days after the burglary. They soon spotted videos posted by Coffie. He was trying to sell the stolen weapons, and the investigators also noticed bandages on his hand, court records say. They believe he cut his hand while climbing through the broken window. He still had one of the stolen guns when he was arrested, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Police have said as many as ten people in six vehicles were involved in the burglary. Only Coffie has been charged so far.

In February, Coffie was a student at Tennessee State University when he was arrested and accused of shooting at a fleeing car on campus. According to reports in Tennessee media, police say surveillance video showed him make a "transaction" with a car that suddenly sped away. Coffie was then seen running after the car, firing six or seven rounds, authorities say.

Police later searched his dorm room and reportedly found a handgun and a scale. He was charged with illegal gun possession and reckless endangerment, according to court records.

Coffie is now being held in jail in the burglary case.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
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