Tacoma Police report increase in stolen guns out of vehicles
Tacoma Police say a lot of stolen guns are making their way onto the street – and many of them come from parked cars and trucks.
The department estimates at least one gun is stolen from a vehicle every 48 hours.
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According to crime figures, there were 10 guns taken from prowled vehicles between Jan. 1 – 22. Police say those numbers are only thefts of firearms from vehicle prowls; it does not include those firearms stolen during motor vehicle thefts.
“Last year, we had 202 firearms stolen during vehicles prowls, which I think is quite an alarming number,” said Tacoma Police Officer Wendy Haddow.
Chief Avery Moore says many of these weapons are being used to commit crimes.
“Stolen guns are finding their way into the hands of juveniles and are being used in violent crimes,” wrote Chief Moore in a post on the Department’s Facebook page. “Many of these firearms are stolen in vehicle prowls. By not leaving firearms unattended in your vehicle, you are helping us keep guns out of the hands of juveniles.”
Tacoma Police have issued a directive requesting people become more aware of where they keep their guns.
They say gun owners can help prevent these thefts by taking the following precautions:
• Do not leave firearms in your vehicle
• Keep firearms secured and follow safe handling procedures
• Keep firearms out of the hands of juveniles.
Haddow said gun owners can prevent these crimes by simply planning ahead.
“Someone might have a hand gun on them with their concealed license and realize, ‘Oh, I have time to stop at my child’s sporting event at a public school, and I can’t take the gun in with me,'” she said as an example. “And they put it in their consul or their glove box, and when they come back, their vehicle has been broken into, and the gun is gone.”
Instead, the safest place to keep a gun when it is not on your person is locked in a safety deposit box at home.
If you are the victim of a theft in which a firearm is stolen, Tacoma Police request you call 911 if the crime is in progress, otherwise call (253) 287-4455.