Kez Gipson

The Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office issued an arrest warrant Friday for a 20-year-old man they suspect broke into a Paincourtville hardware store on Sept. 21 and stole more than 25 handguns.

Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said Saturday that authorities are searching for Kez Quintel Gipson, 509 Catadonna St., Donaldsonville, as a suspect in the burglary of Sagona’s True Value Hardware, 6188 La. 1.

Waguespack announced on Saturday that the reward for any information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the burglar has risen to $6,000 after the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials announced a $5,000 reward Tuesday.

The Paincourtville store’s surveillance cameras show what appears to be a black man, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, wearing light blue jeans, a brown hooded jacket and red baseball cap breaking into the store at 11:25 p.m. Sept. 21.

He then went into the gun section and pilfered the guns, which have been described as primarily semi-automatic pistols and a few revolvers, authorities have said.

Authorities previously have asked the public to call in about anyone seen walking near the intersections of La. 70 and La. 308 or La. 1 between 11 p.m. and midnight Sept. 21.

Sheriff’s deputies were called about the burglary around 8:20 a.m. Sunday, authorities have said. The hardware store is a federally licensed firearms dealer, according to the ATF website.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information on the theft is asked to contact Waguespack at (985) 637-6392, Deputy Robert Martin at (985) 369-7281 or (985) 398-0430 or the ATF’s New Orleans office at (504) 841-7000 or (800) ATF-GUNS.