Firearm Theft from Vehicles on the Rise

6/9/2021

Charlotte, N.C. – (Wednesday, June 9, 2021) – The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has observed an upward trend of car break-ins in Charlotte and is finding many of them are leading to the theft of a firearm.

 

Car break-ins are on the rise.  Over the past nine days, there have been more than 280 vehicles broken into across the city, which is a 34% increase from last year. An alarming trend observed during these investigations is the number of firearms that have been stolen in the process.

So far this year, there have been around 4,100 vehicle break-ins. 446 guns have been stolen in the process, which is 65% more than last year.  Stolen guns like these often end up in the hands of minors or felons and are frequently used to commit other crimes.

So far this year, CMPD officers have seized more than 1,200 firearms as evidence, and in May alone, they arrested more than 300 felons in possession of firearms. Keeping firearms out of the hands of those who cannot legally possess them can also contribute to the safety of our city, so the CMPD is raising awareness of this trend and educating the public on best practices. A best practice is not leaving firearms in vehicles. The CMPD recognizes there may be times when this is unavoidable and recommends the use of a lockbox that can be secured to a fixed object inside your vehicle.

Having your vehicle broken into is frustrating. The best steps to avoid your vehicle being targeted is removing your valuables, rolling up your windows, locking your doors and parking in a well-lit area. Surveillance systems and car alarms are also excellent additions. As always, if you see anyone suspicious, don't hesitate to call 911, and if you know anyone breaking into cars, you can report them anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.  Additional data totaling firearms stolen from vehicles between January and May can be found below.


Stolen Firearms
January-May ​
Year
Guns Stolen
2019300
2020255
2021393