Atlanta Facing Escalated Rates of Guns Stolen from Cars
According to Atlanta law enforcement officials, the city is experiencing a surge in vehicle break-ins. National reporting has found that the city is in the lead when it comes to firearms stolen out of vehicles.
Over the last several weeks, there have been a total of 120 vehicles broken into during what officers are calling two separate sprees. In many of the incidents, there have been valuables left behind in cars. This is leading police to believe that the thieves are looking for specific items: Weapons. Out of the 120 vehicles, there were 15 firearms stolen. To date, there have been over 600 guns stolen from vehicles in the city.
In 2015, there were 857 guns stolen out of cars in Atlanta alone. That puts Atlanta in the number one spot in the nation. In second place was Charlotte, North Carolina, which saw just over 400 guns taken from vehicles during break-ins.
Officials in Atlanta say that police officers are not permitted to leave their guns in their patrol or personal vehicles. If they do, the weapon must be in a locked safe. A public service announcement is urging the public to follow suit. Any person who is traveling with a weapon in their vehicle should do so with the gun locked in a safe. This may make it less attractive for a thief to steal.
Another issue police officers are running into is that some people don’t know the serial number of their weapon. This can make locating and returning the weapon close to impossible. Of the more than 800 guns stolen last year, more than 500 reports were marked as incomplete due to missing serial numbers. Once the guns are stolen, they aren’t always staying in state. When it comes to stolen guns used in crimes and then confiscated, the highest number can be traced back to Georgia.
If you have been charged with a gun crime in Atlanta or the surrounding area, reach out to Hawkins Spizman Fortas. We are experienced in criminal defense and will put that knowledge to work for you. Call today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation.