NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Metro Police report 343 guns have been stolen from vehicles in 2021.
Police said 17 guns were stolen last week – May 30-June 5 – including five from unlocked vehicles.
The guns are routinely taken from vehicles in parking garages and those parked outside night clubs, homes, hotels and short-term rental properties.
Those involved in these thefts are often young people who later use the weapons in violent criminal acts, including homicide.
The number of guns stolen from vehicles this year by precinct are North (34), South (42), Central (33), East (24), West (16), Midtown Hills (96), Madison (34) and Hermitage (64).
Police are also seeing an uptick in vehicle theft.
A review of stolen vehicle reports in Nashville from last week shows that 72% of the automobiles taken (55 of 76) were easy targets because the keys were left inside or made available to thieves. Nine of the vehicles were left running without the driver present.
Police said the stolen vehicles are also routinely involved in additional criminal activities, including carjackings and robberies.
Metro Police encourages residents and visitors to lock their automobile doors, secure any valuables, especially guns, and remove the keys.
“These simple actions will go a long way in preventing crime and could very well save a life,” the police department said in a news release.