A suspected smash-and-grab burglar in Denver, Colorado, was caught by federal agents after sending selfies of himself with the stolen guns to his friends.
Viet Trinh, 18, was charged with theft from the inventory of a federal firearms licensee Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Denver.
If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to federal charges.
Trinh sent numerous selfies of himself armed with stolen guns to friends. In the messages, he mentioned the possibility of killing people, including police officers.
ATF agents arrested Trinh on August 16.
Viet Trinh, 18, is pictured in a selfie with a stolen gun wearing gloves that prevent fingerprints
Trinh sent numerous selfies with guns to his friends. He sold the guns on Facebook
He told investigators that he and four or five others were driving when they saw a gun shop called Shooter Ready and ‘decided to burglarize the business’.
Trinh said he didn’t enter the store because he was the ‘getaway driver’.
He also admitted driving a stolen vehicle when he and three others stole four rifles from a different gun shop.
Then he told the federal agents he wasn’t going to say anything more.
Surveillance footage caught the robberies at Parker Arms and Shooter Ready
Trinh and his friends had stolen dozens of guns before they were caught
‘I feel like I’m snitchin’ on myself,’ he said.
The Denver Post acquired the arrest affidavit filed by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Trinh’s Facebook page under the alias ‘Kyle Zimmerman’ had information on crimes like car thefts and illegal gun dealing dating back to October 10.
On November 11, Trinh messaged friends asking: ‘Know anyone that wants to buy a baby .40? $300.’
On December 20, he wrote ‘I got my 9′ wit full clips. Mixed with poison hallows, regular hallows and strait meadle jackets.’ When asked by text where he got the weapon, Trinh allegedly texted: ‘A yistol shop.’
His friend Chris Padilla Jr. wrote November 13 on his Facebook page: ‘Glizzy gang boi…I got the glizzy…9 & 40.’
On November 27, Padilla Jr. used Facebook to try to sell a 9mm pistol possibly stolen from Shooter Ready for $350.
Padilla Jr. and Trinh also allegedly wrote message that included information about a Parker Arms burglary in which four rifles were stolen. The messages included several ‘gang’ references.
An informant who worked with ATF agents witnessed Trinh, Chris Padilla Sr., Chris Padilla Jr., Jay Martinez and Nathaniel ‘Nate’ Aragon climb into a white Honda Civic and a grey Honda hatchback late on November 9 at Padilla’s home.
The group wore masks, hoodies and gloves during the robberies to try to hide their identities
They used a rock to smash the front window of Shooter Ready on November 10
A security camera at a gun shop called Shooter Ready captured a group of masked people pulling up in a white sedan and a grey coupe at 4.21am on November 10.
The four thieves, each wearing hooded sweatshirts and gloves, used a rock to bash the store window. They entered the store and smashed glass gun display cases and snatched 25 guns, an affidavit says.
Trinh later texted the informant to return to the Padilla home because the thieves had the guns, the affidavit says.
When the informant arrived, the suspects told him they ‘hit a store.’ There were about 10 guns, which were divvied up. Everyone got about three guns.
At the time, Trinh posted a picture of himself wearing a white and black glove.
ATF agents put Padilla’s home under surveillance on January 13, according to court records. Agents saw Chris Padilla Jr. leave the home and get into a car with several other people. ATF agents followed the vehicle to a home nearby.
There was an active warrant for Padilla Jr.’s arrest at the time. When police arrived, four people including Padilla Jr., a juvenile, took off running. They ran through a back yard before police arrested them.
Trinh claims that he was the getaway driver for the Shooter Ready robbery
Padilla Jr. had one round from a 9mm handgun in his pants pocket. He was carrying a backpack containing a black ski mask, a pair of gloves and 12 rounds of .40-caliber ammunition in a back pack.
Police found a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber gun that had been stolen from Shooter Ready in the backyard.
At the same time, police also arrested Chase Scheumert, who was carrying two guns that had been stolen on January 8 from another gun shop called South Platte Tactical.
When ATF agents searched the Padilla home they found two guns including a Anderson Arms .223-caliber rifle. The rifle had been stolen from South Platte Tactical.
The informant said Padilla Sr. was trying to sell a rifle before going to jail that he kept locked in a closet.
In that closet, ATF agents found a 44-40-caliber rifle that had been stolen from Parker Arms, a gun shop that had been burglarized on December 17.
When ATF agents arrested Trinh on August 16 he admitted that the Kyle Zimmerman Facebook page was his.
He initially didn’t want to talk about the Shooter Ready burglary because he didn’t want to be a snitch, agents said.
He later changed his mind and gave the details about the November 10 robbery and as well as the Parker Arms robbery.