65 percent increase in firearm thefts in St. Louis - KMOV.com

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65 percent increase in firearm thefts in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – The number of firearm thefts in St. Louis has increased 65 percent compared to this time last year.

According to police, 183 guns have been reported stolen so far this year but they believe the actual number is higher because in Missouri gun owners aren't required to tell police when their guns are lost or stolen.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the majority of stolen guns are taken from vehicles. Dotson said he thinks the rise in thefts is because more people are buying guns, getting concealed-carry permits and leaving the guns unsecured inside vehicles while attending events where guns are not allowed inside.

Once the guns are stolen, Dotson said, they go underground, which is a belief reinforced by the fact that many of the guns police seize are either stolen or have the serial numbers filed off. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce echoed those sentiments.

You may think your being safer by bringing your gun downtown. You're actually making yourself less safe and the community less safe," said St. Louis prosecutor Jennifer Joyce. "Guns dont go away. Once a gun is out in the community it doesn't dissolve some day or expire, every gun that's been made, unless it's melted down is still out in the community."

Chief Dotson recommends gun owners who leave firearms in vehicles to secure them in a lockbox. Police said you should call them if you want to learn how to properly store your gun in your car.
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