LAS VEGAS -- People living in the northwest part valley have become targets for thieves. Burglaries there are up nearly 30 percent since the beginning of the year.
Metro Police said they don't know the reason for the increase, but the crooks seem to be especially interested in stealing guns. According to police, that is the No. 1 item taken during burglaries because guns are easily sold for cash or traded for drugs.
Police were addressing recent concerns about burglaries in the northwest on Tuesday night at their monthly neighborhood meeting at the Northwest Area Command.
In some cases, homeowners have fought back to protect their property.
A man in his 70's shot at three men who tried to steal from him off during a brazen daylight burglary off Sahara Avenue on Monday. One of the suspects died.
John Hansen lives nearby and said the shooting has caused his neighbors to start talking about arming themselves.
"People are bold, these crooks are bold, and they just don't give a damn," Hansen said."
This past weekend, police said one suspect tried to rob a bank and then broke into two homes before being shot at by a homeowner and police.
Metro Police said they're seeing organized tandem teams targeting homes in the area and guns are on the top of the list of stolen property.
"Interestingly, people have a firearm to protect themselves against an intrusion, but the burglary happens when the criminal finds your home unoccupied, and then they have access to your guns and you're not even there, " said Kathy Perkins, Metro Police crime prevention specialist.
Some of the burglaries in the northwest area are happening during the day and not at night, according to Metro. Police said senior citizens are being targeted. They remind homeowners burglars are looking for easy access and signs your home is empty.
Jewelry and small electronics are the second and third most stolen items in burglaries, police said.