Alarming: 50% of Stolen Guns Ripped From Yakima Valley Cars
Unfortunately vehicle theft and gun theft go hand in hand in Yakima. Police say vehicle theft is ongoing problem for drivers and police. In fact on average Yakima Police see anywhere from 500 to 700 stolen vehicles every year.
MANY VEHICLES ARE STOLEN FROM DRIVEWAYS IN YAKIMA AND THE THIEVES SOMETIMES FIND GUNS
Many are stolen during the fall and winter months when people warm up vehicles and leave them unlocked. The Yakima County Sheriff's has the same problem in the county. About the same amount of vehicles are stolen each year in the county as well.
Authorities say a lot of times vehicles are stolen for "joy rides" and are found crashed hours later. Before they abandoned the thieves steal what they can in the vehicle including guns.
HERE COME THE WARM UP AUTO AND GUN THEFTS
It's starting to get cold in the mornings and that's when thefts happen. Authorities urge drivers to lock vehicles, don't leave keys in the ignition or on a passenger seat and don't leave anything of value in the car including purses, backpacks, wallets or guns. Along with stolen vehicle stolen guns are also a big problem in Yakima.
YOUR GUN STOLEN FROM YOUR VEHICLE COULD BE USED IN A VIOLENT CRIME
Making sure your gun is locked while in your vehicle is vitally important say police because they say 50% of all guns stolen in Yakima come from vehicle prowls. Authorities say the guns are then used on the street in many serious crimes including gang related shootings. Authorities say do everything you can to prevent becoming a victim.
Washington State Law is clear;
"A person at least eighteen years of age who is in possession of an unloaded pistol shall not leave the unloaded pistol in a vehicle unless the unloaded pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle. (b) A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor."
Many people in Yakima who carry a gun say they would never leave a gun in a vehicle for any reason. Many say they never leave the gun anywhere but on themselves or secured at home. If you are inclined to carry your gun but store it in your vehicle police say purchase a lock box for your vehicle.
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Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang