Guns in vehicles are a target for thieves

JONESBORO, Ark. – A regular mistake gun owners make in Jonesboro is leaving their firearm inside of a vehicle.

The latest victim showed up to Jonesboro Police Department on Tuesday, reporting a Benelli Super Black Eagle 2 shotgun stolen from the backseat of his truck between Dec. 16 and Dec. 19. The night before the report was made, the gun owner discovered it was taken, either at his home or near Academy Sports. The gun was entered into ACIC/NCIC as stolen and the suspect faces at least two felonies for the act, if identified.

It wasn’t even the only report of its kind on Tuesday.

JPD was dispatched Tuesday afternoon to the 4800-block of Lonoke Lane over a vehicle break-in overnight. The vehicle, which was actually left unlocked, contained a Ruger .40 caliber handgun behind the front passenger seat. The gun was stolen, along with several gifts for a small child.

It is because of incidents like these that JPD recommends when they leave their vehicles unattended, people remove their valuables from their vehicles, including cell phones, wallets, purses, laptops/tablets, and of course firearms, said Information Specialist Paul Holmes.

“We have seen recently that some thieves are willing to break vehicle windows to steal items from vehicles,” Holmes said. “So while locking the car doors may deter some thieves, it certainly does not guarantee that another, more determined thief will pass up your locked car if he sees something on the seat, dashboard or console that he wants to steal from you.”

As of Dec. 21, there had been 99 reported cases of firearms being stolen from vehicles in Jonesboro. Only 10 of those were closed.

“In the case of firearms, they are particularly attractive to thieves because they can quickly be sold/traded on the street for cash or drugs, or even used in another crime,” Holmes said. “Stolen guns can easily get into the hands who of people who are not supposed to possess them –  notably, convicted felons.”

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