DPD: Denver experiencing a surge in gun thefts, could lead to uptick in violent crime

Posted at 6:33 PM, Sep 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-24 20:39:46-04

DENVER — Streets in Denver are increasingly filled with stolen guns, according to police. More than 130 guns have been taken from vehicles this year in Denver, according to DPD.

It’s such a concern they held a press conference to ask the public for help.

"On a daily basis, we have seen sort of a surge of this kind of crime recently. And obviously we can track the instances of the use of these guns that have been stolen to a number of violent crimes," said DPD Division Chief of Patrol Ron Thomas, referring to crimes are likely robberies, felony menacing and illegal discharge.

In a real-life example of a stolen gun incident in March, DPD demonstrated the timeline of where it moved around Denver.

Once it was stolen from a vehicle, it was used in another crime and pointed near the victim's head and fired in an armed robbery. A few days later, it was heard firing near a school where students later found casings in their playground, before it was part of another crime — illegal firing of a weapon.

Police want to remind responsible gun owners that criminals are targeting them and never leave a gun in a vehicle.

"Even if you store your gun in a lockable case in your car, that's unlikely to deter a thief because they can just take that and just break into it later," said Thomas.

This year, DPD said there have been more than 5,000 thefts from a motor vehicle.

A few tips to keep criminals away from your firearm:

Try not to keep your gun in your vehicle. If it is in your car, keep it out of sight, cased or not. And at home, keep it locked in a safe.