ATLANTA — During the pandemic, Atlanta police are warning you that thieves are stealing guns!
Channel 2′s Lauren Pozen found out that most of these crimes are happening in Buckhead.
It’s something you might not even think to do -- take your gun out of the car. Police say thieves are counting on you to forget.
“Ultimately, it only takes a couple of seconds,” said Sgt. Jarius Daugherty with the Atlanta Police Department.
Daugherty said in the last 28 days, vehicle thefts are up 25% in the Buckhead area.
He says thieves are not just going after the vehicles, but what’s inside them too.
“I think year to date, we’ve had maybe 700 guns stolen from vehicles, which is way too many guns to have out on the street.
We asked police for a breakdown of the number of guns stolen from cars in the past few years.
In 2017, 954 guns were stolen from cars.
The next year, that number jumped to 1,021.
In 2019, that number dropped to 988.
The 2020 numbers are not out yet.
Police say it only takes a second for thieves to make a move.
“If the car is left running, all I have to do is put it in reverse or drive or whatever it is to get out of that parking lot,” Daugherty said.
It’s something that Jared Mula knows all too well. A month ago, he said he left his 8-month-old golden doodle puppy – Juju -- locked in his Range Rover while he went inside to a Whole Foods on West Paces Ferry Road.
When he went back outside, his car and puppy were gone.
“They found the car within two and a half hours after it was stolen with no Juju in it,” Mula said.
This is now a Crime Stoppers case with a $5,000 reward for Juju’s safe return.
Mula told Pozen that he was people to know they need to be aware of their surroundings at all times.
“It is getting really, really dangerous,” Mula said.
In Georgia, any person who is not prohibited by law from having a firearm can have one in their vehicle.
Police ask you safely remove it when you are no longer in the car.
Anyone with information on Juju’s whereabouts should call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.
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