CMPD: Firearm Theft From Car Break-Ins In Charlotte On The Rise
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said Wednesday that there has been a rise in car break-ins in Charlotte and many of them are leading to the theft of a firearm.
Car break-ins are on the rise. According to police, over the past nine days alone, there have been more than 280 vehicles broken into across the city, which is a 34% increase from last year. Police said that the rise in stolen firearms are alarming and a trend they observed during their investigations.
So far this year, there have been around 4,100 vehicle break-ins. 446 guns have been stolen in the process, which is 65% more than last year. The stolen guns often end up in the hands of minors or felons and are frequently used to commit other crimes.
CMPD officers have seized more than 1,200 firearms as evidence since the start of the year, and in May alone, they arrested more than 300 felons in possession of firearms.
Keeping firearms out of the hands of those who cannot legally possess them can also contribute to the safety of our city, so the CMPD is raising awareness of this trend and educating the public on best practices. Police said in a news release that a best practice is not leaving firearms in vehicles. CMPD recognizes there may be times when this is unavoidable and recommends the use of a lockbox that can be secured to a fixed object inside your vehicle.
“Having your vehicle broken into is frustrating,” CMPD said. “The best steps to avoid your vehicle being targeted is removing your valuables, rolling up your windows, locking your doors and parking in a well-lit area. Surveillance systems and car alarms are also excellent additions.”
“It was very alarming. I mean, i just could not believe it,” said community activist Lucille Puckett.
She says the gun owners deserve some blame.
“We need laws in place for irresponsible gun holders,” said Puckett.
Her son was killed by gun violence in 2016. She says unless people get serious about securing their weapons; more tragedies will happen.
“If you know that you’re leaving guns in the car and people are stealing them, then you’re just as responsible as the person who is going out and committing these crimes with these guns,” said Puckett.
As always, if you see anyone suspicious, don’t hesitate to call 911, and if you know anyone breaking into cars, you can report them anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.