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Charlotte Police See A Jump In Guns Stolen From Cars

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Charlotte police say they are seeing a spike in the number of guns stolen out of vehicles.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Capt. Brad Koch heads the central division that covers uptown and center city. In his division alone, Koch said the number of guns taken from vehicles is up by 44% from last month . In the past year, a total of 446 firearms have been stolen, said Koch.

Violent crime is also rising, Koch said. CMPD has reported 46 homicides so far this year, compared to 37 homicides at this time last year.

“These guns that are taken today, we’re gonna (have a) real strong likelihood that we will see them later down the line,” Koch said.

Koch says most of the guns are being taken out of vehicles in parking decks and surface lots at nightclubs and hotels, with gun thieves getting into vehicles by breaking windows and checking for unlocked car doors.

He urges residents to leave their guns at home, and suggests they take a picture of the serial number so that they can be easily reported if stolen.

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Catherine Welch is Assistant News Director at WFAE. She has led newsrooms at KUNC in Greely, CO, Rhode Island Public Radio in Providence, RI and WHQR in Wilmington, NC.