Guns, guns and more guns: Unsecured guns and guns in easily defeated gun lockers/cabinets are being stolen at an alarming rate in auto and residential burglaries. If you are a regular reader, you know I keep track of this and find it a topic of community concern and concern for law enforcement. Along with our rights to bear arms comes the responsibility to properly secure firearms for the safety of your families and the overall community’s safety.
In yesterday’s post I promised to update readers with my tally of firearms stolen during property crimes in February for the Foothill Area Command (generally everything east of Eubank within city limits):
22 guns stolen in February.
28 guns stolen in January.
That brings us to 50 guns reported stolen during property crimes year-to-date in the Foothills Area Command.
Snowball crime: Seven guns were stolen in the Foothills Area Command yesterday during a residential burglary. How did this happen? Another ‘hot topic’ for the community and law enforcement: leaving a garage door opener in a parked vehicle. The owner’s vehicle was broken into and the garage door opener was stolen. This was used to access the garage, find the cabinet/locker where the guns were kept, break the padlock and steal the seven guns. This is what I call “snowball” crime: a seemingly small issue like leaving the garage door opener in a parked vehicle leads to an auto burglary, the auto burglary then leads to an unforced entry into the garage which counts as a residential burglary, and now our original victim has two serious crimes committed against him/her and the criminal population now has seven more guns in their hands. If we can just start making small changes in our lives like removing all items of value from vehicles, parking in secured garages or taking measures to protect against auto break-ins, having strong storage options for firearms, we can make a lot of progress in the fight against crime. Police are generally responsive; citizens can be pro-active and prevent crime with a few minor adjustments on old habits.
Property Crimes Reported in the Foothills Area Command on Tuesday, February 28th
1 Armed Robbery/Commercial: 800-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE.
4 Stolen Vehicles: 700-block of Stephen Moody SE, 800-block of Marcella St NE, 1000-block of Dorothy St NE, 5400-block of Avenida Cuesta NE.
1 Commercial Burglary: 12600-block of Central NE.
3 Residential Burglaries: 100-block of Lanier Dr NE, 12100-block of Emperor Dr NE, 12300-block of Claremont Ave NE. Entries: kicking/damaging front doors, using garage door opener left in parked vehicle to open the garage. Items stolen: 7 guns, 10″ hunting knife, various hunting knives, range finder, binoculars, camping equipment, military bag, clothing/jackets.
5 Auto Burglaries: 13800-block of Mistletoe Ct SE, non-specific Foothills Area Command address, 12800-block of Punta De Vista NE, 2500-block of Griggs Court NE, 14000-block of Indian School Road NE (Trail head parking area). Entries: smashed windows, two of five methods of entries from yesterday’s reports were not noted at time of research. Items stolen: credit cards, a wallet, a Social Security Card, a birth certificate, personal papers and documents, a military bag, a back pack, pari of glasses, vehicle registration and insurance documents, multiple personal items not detailed at time of my research.
Be safe, and welcome to March — a new month, a new day to spread the word about crime prevention. Just one small change of habit can make a big difference in reducing your odds of being a victim.
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command