One of two men suspected of breaking into a Fife sporting goods store and stealing dozens of guns pleaded not guilty to 42 felonies this afternoon.
David Bunta, 20, is charged with one count of first-degree burglary and 41 counts of theft of a firearm.
Superior Court Judge Gary Steiner ordered Bunta jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Prosecutors wrote in court documents that Bunta and another unidentified man broke into the Sportco on 20th Street East about 3:30 a.m. Dec. 17. They made their way to the gun displays, where they smashed the glass and took 39 handguns and two rifles, court records show.
One of the thieves wore a Santa hat.
A confidential informant later told police Bunta might have been involved in the theft, court records show, and officers arrested him at his place of employment.
Bunta initially denied being involved in the theft but eventually told police he took part.
“He acknowledged wearing the Santa hat and said he disposed of it after the burglary,” court records state.
Bunta said he went home following the burglary and that’s “where the guns were dispersed,” the records show.
He refused to provide the names of other people involved in the crime, the records state.
Detectives said they recovered two of the stolen guns from Bunta’s car and house and a third from a car belonging to another man. That man, who is being held in jail on another matter, is expected to be charged with possessing a stolen firearm in the Sportco burglary, court records show.