CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In the last three years, police records show more than 1,800 guns have been stolen from automobiles throughout the Charlotte area.
Through Sept. 15, police said at least 469 guns had been stolen this year, which is on track to meet last year’s total of 688 guns.
In August, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department launched a gun safety program intended to reduce the number of reported gun thefts.
The department partnered with Hyatt Gun Shop to provide 100 gun safes for free to area gun owners, also offering a special rate of $23 for a safe as part of the program.
At least 100 more guns have been stolen since then.
Police said the reported gun thefts have had a significant impact on violent crime in the city. So far, CMPD has investigated 68 homicides this year, which is one shy from last year’s total.
Prevention Officer Johnathan Frisk said gun owners can play a critical role in reducing the risks of theft.
Frisk suggested purchasing a gun safe, if possible, but also said gun owners should avoid storing a gun in plain sight, or in the glove compartment and center console of a vehicle.
“That's probably the first place they're going to look, or up underneath the seat,” Frisk said. “Once somebody breaks into the car and they're in there, if it's on the inside, it's going to be gone.”
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