GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga — Police across Metro Atlanta are investigating an alarming number of guns stolen from cars.
It gives criminals easy access to weapons.
“I like to be extra cautious,” Marlon Patterson said.
Patterson told Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon that he always makes sure his car is locked, especially when his gun is in the glove compartment.
“I try to make everything is locked up, the glove compartment and make sure that’s locked up as well,” Patterson said.
He lives in one of the areas Gwinnett County Police say thieves like to target.
“I am worried about it, you know it could happen,” Patterson said. “As long as you leave it in the vehicle, anybody can break into the glove compartment.
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Gwinnett County Police say they’ve seen a dramatic rise in gun thefts from cars across the county this summer.
It’s a crime that sometimes leads to even more crime.
“Generally, what we find with stolen guns is that they generally make their way into the hands of people that we would not want to have them,” Gwinnett County Police spokesperson, Sgt. Jennifer Richter said. “A lot of times, stolen guns are used in criminal activity.”
It’s also a problem in Atlanta, with Atlanta police issuing warnings about this issue over the past year.
Atlanta police say so far this year, more than 1,000 guns have been stolen from cars.
Police say it could be some of those same thieves that are showing up in Gwinnett.
“Almost professional crews that come into the county from other parts of the state, the city of Atlanta, or other places like that very quickly and target certain areas,” Richter said.
So far, police say the thieves have been difficult to catch, which is another reason why Patterson says he’ll keep a close eye on his gun.
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“I hit the lock button multiple times before I leave the vehicle,” Patterson said.
Police say drivers can help fight the problem by locking their cars and removing their guns from cars when parked for long periods of time.
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