Local TV station WHAG-TV is reporting a rash of thefts involving firearms primarily in the Loudoun County area.
“We are up to 20 firearms that have been stolen since the beginning of November,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman.
The worst part is that these thefts have been stolen from vehicles…most of them that were left unlocked!
I mean who doesn’t lock their vehicle in public areas?
According the Sheriff it sounds like folks are just noodling around parking areas checking for unlocked vehicles…and I suppose in these cases these thieves are finding unlocked cars with firearms.
Geez, if you’re leaving firearms in your vehicle and you’re not locking it…well you’re almost asking for it.
Same could be said for other stolen items in cars, locked or unlocked, such as wallets, smartphones, and other high value items that aren’t hidden away if left in a vehicle.
“Most of this just happens to be with people that are rummaging through cars,” said Sheriff Chapman.
“They’re breaking into cars to see what they can steal, they’re coming across these firearms, and it’s kind of surprising to me that that many people would keep weapons in their car.”
In light of these cases, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit is offering residents several tips for deterring thefts from vehicles:
- KEEP YOUR VEHICLE LOCKED. Most stolen items are taken from vehicles that are left unlocked.
- Remove all items from your vehicle, including garage door openers, when not in use. When you cannot do this, put the items out of sight (inside a lockable glove box or trunk). If your vehicle has an integrated garage door opener, please try to park your vehicle in the garage.
- If you have to leave a firearm in your vehicle, use a secured lock box and take the ammunition/magazine with you and out of the vehicle.
- Park inside your garage, if available, and keep the garage locked. Or, try to park your vehicle near or under an illuminated area.
- Report suspicious activity immediately by calling the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 703-777-1021.
In an effort to assist gun owners with properly securing their firearms, the agency is providing free gunlock safety kits donated through Project ChildSafe, a nationwide firearms safety education program.
Each kit contains a safety curriculum and a cable style gunlock.
The locks fit on most types of handguns, rifles and shotguns.
The goal is to prevent a child or any other unauthorized person from accessing a firearm in your home.
The safety kits will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis at each of the following locations Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.:
Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Administration Building
803 Sycolin Road
Leesburg, VA 20175
Dulles South Public Safety Center
25216 Loudoun County Pkwy.
Chantilly, VA 20152
Eastern Loudoun Station
46620 East Frederick Dr.
Sterling, VA 20164
45299 Research Pl. #100
Ashburn, VA 20147
Western Loudoun Station
47 W. Loudoun St.
Round Hill, VA