Pittsburgh Police investigating surge of gun thefts from cars – WPXI

Pittsburgh Police investigating surge of gun thefts from cars – WPXI

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Police officers are responding to a surge in gun thefts from cars over the last week.

“It’s especially troubling, as it’s likely to wind up in the hands of somebody who’s an unlawful possessor to possibly use it in another crime,” said Commander Stephen Vinansky, Zone 5 Pittsburgh Police.

It’s an alarming, widespread trend happening across the city of Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Public Safety confirms to Channel 11 at least five guns were taken this past weekend from Zone 5 neighborhoods, like Homewood.

Another was stolen right out of a car in the Southside.

Public Safety says the crime can truly happen anywhere.

However, police say it occurs most frequently outside of concerts, bars and clubs.

Crooks are capitalizing on these spots—knowing gun owners will likely be inside locations for extended periods of time and not notice until they head home for the night.

“We are going to be increasing patrols. We are reaching out to club owners and bar owners to put out a word of caution,” said Vinansky.

Commander Vinansky says these are clear crimes of opportunity.

The motive behind the act could be several things.

He says one thing’s for sure—it’s a felony, and you can do some serious time.

“Some people will sell them for quick money on the street. Some people will keep them for other unlawful purposes,” said Vinansky.

Pittsburgh Police would like to remind gun owners there are a few simple steps you can take to help keep your firearms safe:

Don’t leave your firearm secured in your vehicle.

Plan ahead—if you know you have plans, leave your guns secured at home.

Always lock your vehicle. Though many firearms are stolen from locked cars, it is an extra step that may help prevent potential theft.

If you have any info on the stolen gun incidents, you can report it to police anonymously here: https://pittsburghpa.gov/publicsafety/suspicious-activity