It’s a disturbing problem in the valley.
“Anytime a gun is stolen from a lawful owner, it ends up in the hands of criminals,” said Captain Todd Raybuck of the Enterprise Area Command.
The numbers are shocking.
Just this year, more than 500 guns have already been stolen with 110 in Captain Raybuck’s Area Command.
“Unfortunately we see guns stolen in burglaries. We see guns stolen out of cars because people leave them in there when they’re going to work or into the grocery store,” Raybuck said.
The problem is a valley-wide issue, according to police.
“Those guns were stolen in residential home burglaries out of Northwest previously. They almost killed our police officers and if these suspects are willing to pull guns on officers and pull the trigger, they’ll put a gun on a citizen standing at the ATM machine,” says Captain Sasha Larkin of the Northwest Area Command.
Last year, two officer-involved shootings in the Northwest involved guns that had been stolen.
“I put a huge amount of responsibility on a person who owns a gun to make sure it’s locked up, put away that somebody who shouldn’t have access to it, doesn’t have access to it,” said Officer Vince D’Angelo.
The message is one we’ve heard before: Safely store your firearms.
Police are asking gun owners to use a gun lock and be proactive, instead of reactive.