In 2020 so far, more than 500 guns have been stolen from vehicles in Nashville, according to Metro Nashville Police officials.
Police say since January a total of 573 guns have been stolen from vehicles. Last year they had 558 guns taken from cars by this time. Altogether, they had 750 guns taken from cars in 2019.
Even recently, from Sunday, September 13, through Saturday, September 19 a total of 13 guns were stolen from vehicles – nine of those vehicles were left unlocked, making them easy targets for thieves.
Within that time frame, 71% of the automobiles taken (46 of 65) were taken because the keys were left inside or made available to thieves.
Officer Alberta Auguste is part of the PARK SMART initiative with Metro Nashville PD and says these aren’t harmless crimes.
“When a crime is committed and we find guns, 9 times out of 10, that gun was stolen somewhere in the area or at a place out in Nashville,” Auguste said.
Six of the 65 vehicles stolen were left running without the driver present. Six of the 65 vehicles stolen were left running without the driver present.
This is something Auguste is noticing more and more often, especially with newer cars. Many of these cars often have a spare key lodged in the manual booklet by the dash.
“My Toyota Camry had a spare key in it. They didn’t tell me, but I had to go back through my manual and look,” Auguste said.
Thieves will always take their shot, but Auguste is continuing to encourage people to lock their cars.
The MNPD’s PARK SMART campaign reminds drivers to not only lock their vehicles, but also secure any valuables including guns, and remove their keys. While the Park Smart initiative has been going on for more than 10 years, they only began keeping track of the number of guns taken from cars last year.