31 guns stolen from cars, many unlocked, in 2017 in NC city

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) — A rash of car break-ins has Wilmington police on high alert.

Roughly 70 vehicles have been tagged in the past several weeks, most of them on the city’s south side. But what’s most disturbing to police officers is what’s being taken from those vehicles.

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“It’s a problem, one of which we’ve got to get a handle on,” Chief Ralph Evangelous said. “Come on folks, take your guns in the house. Give us a break out here.”

More than 200 guns have been stolen from cars on streets and in driveways in Wilmington since 2014. The fact that many of them are unlocked is something the chief can’t comprehend.

That carelessness, or forgetfulness, is adding to local crime, and increasing the risk of someone getting hurt or killed.

“Be responsible gun owners. Secure your weapons,” Evangelous pleaded. “People say, ‘Where are the guns coming from?’ They’re coming from your cars and your homes. Secure your weapons.”

So far in 2017, 31 guns have been taken from cars. Two of those guns were stolen in the past week.

Police are looking for two or three men, wearing gloves and backpacks, who may be scouring neighborhoods on bicycles.

The police chief is urging anyone with information about the recent thefts to contact the city’s police department at 910-343-3609.

Below is a map of all the recent car break-ins that the Wilmington Police Department is investigating.

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