Hundreds of stolen guns are ending up on the streets in Virginia

Stolen guns used in crimes, some guns from as far as 100 miles away

ROANOKE – Hundreds of guns are ending up on the streets. Those guns can be used in crimes and possibly lead to those crimes being unsolved.

"It's not unique to the Roanoke Valley," said Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones.

Hundreds of guns are being stolen across Virginia, and Lynchburg Police Officer John Pavia says it's not getting better.

"There's been a problem and the trends been going up and the larceny from auto theft has only been on the rise," said Pavia.

We investigated and just so far this year:

  • 85 guns were stolen in Roanoke
  • 24 in Lynchburg
  • 37 in Danville

Jones says they're seeing stolen guns used in crimes, and some of the guns are from as far as 100 miles away.

"Guns will make their way around and unfortunately they are a very highly desired commodity in the criminal equation. If you can purchase one illegally people are going to do it," said Jones.

Thieves will go into neighborhoods late at night checking door handles. If they find a car door that's open, they'll go inside. Many times they'll find guns sitting between the driver's seat and the armrest and that's how guns may end up on the street.

"We know that everyone has hectic lifestyles. Sometimes they're just going inside for a minute and end up staying longer but locking your doors and not leaving weapons in the vehicle or at all," said Pavia.

"The responsibility is serious. Storing, making safe, securing their weapons in their vehicles all of these things are important to making our community safer. Safer for adults, safer for children," said Jones.

You can report your gun stolen even if you don't know the serial number. Police can track down that information and if your gun is found and hasn't been used it in a crime it can be returned to you.


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