RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police reported that almost 200 guns were stolen from private vehicles last year, many of which were unlocked.
Major John O’Kleasky called it a very dangerous and reckless practice to leave weapons in unlocked cars.
“183 firearms removed from vehicles and reported stolen in the City of Richmond,” Major O’Kleasky said.
That’s roughly one reported stolen every other day.
“One every other day is truly at an epidemic level,” Major John O’Kleasky with Richmond Police said.
In response, police are preparing a series of community walks to work with residents on keeping thieves out of cars.
The main topic of discussion will be RPD’s ‘Love it…Lock it…or Lose it’ campaign to help prevent car thefts.
RPD told 8News a firearm and a Bible were stolen out of an unlocked car in a Northside neighborhood and that gun traveled in 24 hours into the hands of a known drug dealer.
This past weekend five guns were stolen out of four cars. RPD says these thefts are 100 percent preventable.
The areas hit included the Museum District, Northside, Scott’s Addition, and the Fan.
A gun was stolen along Mactavish Avenue just a few feet away from an RPD sign reminding residents to lock their car doors. Other thefts were reported along Kensington and Hanover Avenues.
“It does add to overall crime in your neighborhood. Making everybody less safe,” Major O’Kleasky said.
RPD has also created a hashtag ‘Come on Richmond’ to help fight car theft issues. Police plan on visiting several neighborhoods this summer to remind residents to lock their car doors and look out for one another.
“Have that conversation with that person. Your spouse, your friend, your neighbors,” Major O’Kleasky said. “Just say hey I think you may have left your gym bag in the backseat.”
Richmond Police said they have made several arrests recently in these cases but still need help from the public.
If you have information that could help detectives, call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or submit a tip online at http://www.7801000.com.