Earlier this summer, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office reported that it had investigated 20 stolen vehicles in the month of July and how significant of an increase that was for the area. Many of the vehicles that were stolen or broken into were taken by opening an unlocked door. Some of these vehicles also had unsecured guns that were stolen.
On Aug. 27 one such incident took place when a Superior Township man reported that his vehicle had been broken into. The victim reported that when he left for work in the early morning hours he found that his car had been rummaged through. He reported that he had left his doors unlocked and his handgun under the front seat. On Sept. 21 a 17-year-old Ypsilanti Township resident was arrested and had in his possession the handgun that was stolen a month earlier.
Since Jan. 1, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office has investigated 33 incidents where guns have been stolen from a home or vehicle. Of those 33, 11 of them have been taken from a vehicle, many of which were left unlocked.
Gun owners are encouraged to never leave your gun unsecured and in your vehicle.
If you must leave your weapon within your vehicle here are a few tips:
1. Secure your vehicle: Make sure to always lock your doors and roll up your windows.
2. Secure your weapon: Remove ammunition and lock your weapon within a lock box or in the trunk. Always remove your weapon from your vehicle when possible. If your weapon is left in the vehicle do not leave it in plain view.
3. Minimize time left in vehicle: If you must leave it, don’t leave it overnight or for long periods of time. Although it only takes a matter of seconds to open a door and find a weapon, limiting the time away is one additional step.
4. Parking matters: When possible, park in a well-lit area, use your garage, or park near doors to your home or office. This doesn’t stop someone from entering your vehicle, but may act as a slight deterrent.
Gun ownership is a responsibility. Responsible gun owners make it a priority to secure their weapons and keep them safe at all times.
Anyone with information related to any cases where a weapon has been stolen is asked to contact the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. You can reach us at our confidential tip line (734-973-7711), or Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 1-800-SPEAKUP (1-800-773-2587).