Crime

WPD: Number of guns stolen from vehicles on the rise in recent years

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - Last year almost 300 guns were stolen from vehicles in Wichita.

Police say what's concerning is that it's still happening, and we're on track to have a similar total at the end of this year.

In the last several years, the number of stolen firearms from vehicles has dramatically increased.

And police believe it isn't about targeting guns, but rather, gun owners giving criminals the opportunity by leaving their firearms in plain sight and unsecured.

Robert Clayton is familiar with shooting at targets. But that experience didn't prevent what he says, was his mistake.

"It was in the underside dash of my vehicle and it was gone," said Robert Clayton, Wichita.

It being his handgun, that Clayton says, was recently taken from his car.

Clayton says he's not only upset his birthday gift is missing, but he's also worried about who has it.

"Angry that somebody decided to take it and nervous that now my weapon is in the hands of somebody who obviously should not have it," said Clayton.

The number of stolen guns from vehicles has made big jumps in recent years.                      

Sgt. Trevor McDonald says what's also concerning is how far they're spreading.

"As far away as Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Townsend Florida, LA was one of the last ones I received," said Sgt. Trevor McDonald, Wichita Police.

Simply locking your car isn't enough. The Sales Manager at Bullet Stop says if a gun is in your vehicle, it should always be secured.

He says use a gun vault safe and hook it up.

"To the metal portion under the seat with this cable," said Max Wiesner, Bullet Stop Sales Manager.

He says to lock it and place it under the seat. It's something Clayton plans to invest in.

"If I ever decide I need to, I'm going to acquire a way to secure it because it's dangerous otherwise," said Clayton.

They sell these vaults at many gun shops and they range from thirty to two hundred and fifty dollars in price.

Clayton did make a report with police and wanted to share his story as a warning to other gun owners.
 


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