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Lock your cars: Guns stolen from unlocked cars increases risk to community

Posted August 7

— The Wake County sheriff and district attorney are coming together with a warning for gun owners: Lock your car!

Sheriff Donnie Harrison said his office has investigated 20 reports of firearms stolen from unlocked vehicles since the beginning of the year. More than a dozen of those incidents were in July.

The Raleigh Police Department has 39 similar reports in that time frame, and the Wake County City County Bureau of Identification has reported a spike in firearms stolen from cars over the past month.

"These stolen guns being out on the street increases the risk to our community and our law enforcement officers," Harrison said.

District Attorney Lorrin Freeman added, "It's our hope that raising awareness about this issue will cut down on the number of firearms making it into the hands of people who would intend to do harm."

The danger is that the stolen guns could end up at a crime scene.

"You left your gun in your car and the next thing you know a 16-year-old or 40-year-old was killed by that gun because you are not a responsible gun owner," Harrison said.

Gun owner Rhonda Hyman said keeping a firearm safe keeps a person's conscience clear.

"I feel responsible if it is stolen. So, I make sure I keep my gun locked up, my car locked up, everything locked up," she said.

Andrew Matthews agrees.

"If you're removing a concealed carry weapon to put it in a locked container in your car, or if you have a lock box underneath your seat or you have a locked container somewhere else in your vehicle, make sure nobody's watching you so they don't break into your car and take it," he said.

According to Harrison, many weapons used in violent crimes are stolen from someone and then passed around.

For this reason, he says it is very important for gun owners to file a police report if they have a weapon stolen so investigators can trace where its been if possible.


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  • Pete Knowles Aug 8, 11:55 a.m.
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    In my 62 years on this earth, I have never felt a need to carry a firearm. With that said, I am a gun owner. The argument that "I'd rather carry one and not need it, etc." s comical. Just trying to make up for your 'shortcomings' I guess.

  • Jeff Freuler Aug 8, 9:15 a.m.
    user avatar

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    Why do you feel the need to carry a spare tire for your vehicle? In case you need it. With business's prohibiting firearms the only people who abide by this are law abiding firearms owners. If you think for one minute a criminal carrying a firearm is going to abide by the no firearms sign then you're in a different world.

  • Pete Knowles Aug 8, 8:16 a.m.
    user avatar

    Fortunately, Phillip, businesses are using their right to prohibit firearms in their businesses. Why do need to carry at the Food Lion, DQ or the movies, anyway. At first you rail against not being able to carry your "alt-organ" everywhere, then complain about 'responsible' gun owners not securing their weapons. Are you for them or against them?

  • Phillip Mozingo Aug 8, 7:03 a.m.
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    Yes. Unfortunately, we can't carry a weapon in most places, which is really ridiculous since criminals do anyhow, so we have to leave them in our vehicles to be stolen by the criminal anyhow. Lose, Lose situation in my opinion. However, if you are stupid enough to leave your weapon in an unsecured vehicle, then you probably don't need to be carrying a weapon to start with.

  • Mary Jo Holmes Aug 7, 8:56 p.m.
    user avatar

    Can't they get the gun by breaking the window even if the car is locked?