GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Since January 2016, more than 80 firearms have been reported stolen from vehicles in Greenville.
Police are now asking firearm owners to take responsibility for their weapons before they wind up in the hands of criminals.
From January 2016 until February 2017, 81 firearms were stolen from cars in Greenville. Of those firearms stolen, 74 were in unlocked cars.
“We’ve had a huge proliferation of weapons that are now out on the street, not being taken care of, and it’s creating a public safety issue for us,” said Lt. David Bowen with Greenville police.
The Greenville Police Department is calling for an increased sense of ownership.
“It’s disturbing that people don’t think that far ahead to take care of an item that can be as dangerous as a firearm,” said Bowen.
Officers say it’s as simple as keeping a close eye on your belongings, including your firearms. Crime can happen anywhere, especially when your personal belongings are unprotected.
“It’s (the firearm robberies) all over Greenville,” said Bowen. “Mainly in apartment complexes but also residential areas. Cars parked on the street, even in driveways. Some people may think the driveway is a safe place and they can still leave their vehicles unsecured but at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning when nobody’s out watching, that’s when a lot of our criminals are out prowling around.”
Greenville police say these guns have the potential to end up in the hands of people that may use it for violent, criminal intent to inflict harm. If your gun is seized by law enforcement during any crime, the last known owner is usually questioned about the crime. If you have had a firearm stolen, it is important to contact police immediately so they may investigate further.