TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) Criminals looking for a new gun know exactly where they can find one -- in a car.
(MGN / Photo: Brett Hondow)
The Shawnee Co. Sheriff's Office announced Friday that since January 1st, 2019, 41 guns have been reported stolen from area vehicles.
The Topeka Police Department has had another 50.
Shawnee County Sheriff's Deputy Abigail Christian said, "We're thinking that they are just kind of checking doors and if they're unlocked, they get right in. If they're locked, they kind of look for other signs. If they can see the full gun, maybe just the handle of a gun, they'll break the window and get right in."
In Shawnee County, 18 guns were stolen from unlocked vehicles and 23 from cars that were locked.
"Take your valuables inside. Take your guns inside, don't leave them in your cars. Just don't leave anything in the car that is visible," said Deputy Christian.
The Shawnee County Sheriff's Office said a gun in the wrong hands can be dangerous.
"We have laws and policies in place to help keep the guns out of the hands of those that have lost that privilege," said Deputy Christian.
She continued saying, "When they're stealing guns from vehicles, there's no laws regulating that. We're putting guns in the hands of just about anyone and if they're breaking into vehicles, then they're probably criminals and don't need those guns in their hands."
She said they have also seen how the use of a stolen gun can be deadly.
"Not only are we seeing guns found in car stops for example, but they're also being used in more serious crimes such as officer involved shootings," she said, "If we can stop that ahead of time and try and prevent that, it might save a life or two."
The Shawnee County Sheriff's Office encourages the public to lock their vehicles and remove any valuables, not just guns.
If a gun is stolen, contact law enforcement immediately.