CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As the number of stolen guns continue to climb in Charlotte, police are looking to curb those numbers by relaunching the “Lock It or Lose It” campaign.
The campaign will educate the community and bring awareness about keeping guns properly secured, police announced Wednesday during a morning press conference.
“Despite popular belief, it’s not this underground current or black market where these guns are being purchased and sold,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD spokesman Rob Tufano. “Far too frequently it’s often lawful gun owners who have their cars broken into.”
This year, 462 guns have been stolen with 45 percent of the thefts involving vehicles that were left unlocked, police said.
“Compared to last year, it’s actually down. Last year we had 516 at this time and this year we have 462. But, the numbers are continuing... unless we do something about it, the numbers will continue to rise,” said Sgt. W.M. Muhammad.
Police say the stolen guns have been used in violent crimes across the city.
“On August 25, CMPD had a larceny event where six guns were taken. Of those listed items we had an AK-47, AR-15 and two shotguns,” said Muhammad.
CMPD says out of the nearly 500 stolen guns, only 12 percent have been recovered.
“We’re not going to be able to do this by ourselves. It’s going to be a joint effort, so CMPD is asking for your help and support with this initiative and doing the simple things: removing sensitive items and firearms from our vehicles will help,” added Muhammad.