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36 guns seized in nine days | Virginia Beach police putting close focus on Oceanfront

For business owners at the Oceanfront, it’s a good catch.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — It was a massive gun seizure at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront: in the past nine days, Virginia Beach police officers seized 36 guns at the Oceanfront.

Captain Harry McBrien posted photos of the guns on Twitter this past Sunday.

Harvest restaurant owner Michael Mauch said he was glad police officers are cracking down on crime, but he can’t help but wonder how many more are still out there.

"36 guns, that’s amazing. That’s kind of a 'wow' number," he said. “It’s concerning that there are that many illegal guns... You still wonder how many are still out there. But you find comfort in knowing they’re doing this good of a job.” 

Last week, Virginia Beach Police Capt. Jeffery Wilkerson announced officers had seized six illegal guns over the weekend, and underaged teens had two of them.

These seizures come as gun violence has been rising across Hampton Roads. Virginia Beach is no exception.

“It’s unfortunate. Especially in our youth,” Mauch said. “I think crime is always at the forefront of any business owners’ mind, whether you’re here or Kempsville or Bayside.”  

RELATED: 13News Now Investigates: Shootings spike in Hampton Roads, 27% higher than in 2021

Mauch said this latest seizure shows officers have been putting an emphasis on trying to stop the problem at the Oceanfront.

“I think our police are doing a wonderful job. They’re on it, and it really shows over the past couple of years," he said. "It’s nice to hear that they’re putting an emphasis on trying to curtail gun violence at the Oceanfront.”

The department has increased security cameras and lighting, and added gunshot detection technology in the area.

“The atmosphere has changed a little bit – and it’s improved," Mauch said. "Whether that’s the community effort, whether that’s the police effort, whether that’s the city’s efforts – or a combination of all of that. It’s a noticeable improvement.”

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