VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach police said there has been a decided rise in thefts from cars, and as a result of those crimes, hundreds of guns have been reported stolen.
“We’ve noticed that there’s been over 2,000 vehicle larcenies just since January, the first of this year and out of this 2,000 there’s been over 200 firearms taken and that was just out of 188 vehicles," said Community Liaison Officer Nicole Allday.
Wednesday, Allday said in the past 28 days alone the Virginia Beach Police Department received reports of more than 200 thefts from cars which led to more than 19 guns being taken.
“The problem that we have is those of the number of weapons that are now on the street that we don't have access to or protect anyone from," said Allday.
In many cases, people hadn't locked their vehicles with is why Allday and the department are reminding people to make sure they lock up. They also say to keep items out of the cabin so that potential thieves can't see them.
Rosa Cox, who lives in Virginia Beach, keeping her bags in the trunk when she goes shopping. Cox said someone broke into her car years ago.
“By the time they caught the guy, he already went to like maybe more than 20 cars around our neighborhood," said Cox, who managed to get back all of her stolen items.
“Be aware of where you park your car and the surroundings," said Cox.
Allday said Virginia Beach police increased patrols in areas and started to educate people on how to keep their property safe.
As the holidays, officers remind everyone to keep a record of all serial numbers for everything you buy, including weapons.
Allday said the department also is seeing an uptick in cases of people leaving spare keys to another vehicle in their cars which only adds to the problem and the potential for car theft, not just theft from cars.