(CBS) — Authorities are looking for 13 semi-auto assault rifles that were stolen from a rail yard earlier this week.

The rifles were taken from a freight train container on South Lafayette Avenue in Englewood sometime between Sunday and Tuesday.

They were taken from a load of 50 weapons that were on the way to a licensed gun dealer out of state. All 13 are Smith & Wesson M&P 15semi-automatic rifles equipped with 30-round magazines.

“Any gun in the wrong hands can do some serious damage,” CBS 2 security consultant Ross Rice tells CBS 2’s Mike Parker.

The ATF is working with Chicago police to track down the guns before they’re used in any crimes. But some, including community activist Andrew Holmes, are wondering why it took so long for the public to find out about the missing weapons.

“We can’t release everything to the public right away. We have to follow up on leads, conduct interviews,” the ATF’s Tom Ahern said. “Now that it is public, we want the public’s help.”

Authorities don’t know if the thieves tracked down the weapons or whether they stumbled upon them.

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