‘Love it, lock it or lose it:’ RPD reminds public to lock vehicles after gun stolen

RPD: Gun stolen from unlocked car used in shooting

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Richmond Police Department is reminding the community to take the extra step of locking vehicles, after a gun was stolen in the Northern Barton Heights neighborhood.

Sunday, someone stole a handgun and a Bible from an unlocked vehicle near The Plaza.

Hours later, officers responded to a call for random gunfire in Gilpin Court and they confiscated the same handgun as well as crack cocaine and marijuana from a known drug dealer.

“It’s a great example of how that gun traveled three or four miles and into the hands of somebody who is engaged in illegal drug activity,” said Major John O’Kleasky. “Theft from motor vehicles can seem trivial, but it is the number one crime that’s a challenge for us in the City of Richmond."

O’Kleasky says there have been more than 700 reports of theft from motor vehicles so far in 2019, and 75 firearms have been reported stolen from vehicles.

Since 2014, RPD says there have been more than 12,000 reports of vehicles that have had something stolen from them. O’Kleasky says most of those cars were unlocked.

“Do not leave firearms in your vehicles, it makes no practical sense, and it’s a pretty irresponsible and dangerous practice,” he said. “We need the public’s help to please lock your cars.”

RPD has continued to promote “Love it, Lock it or Lose it,” there are signs throughout the city reminding the community to take valuables out of their cars or place them in the trunk so they are not in plain sight.

“You’re inviting criminals or thieves into your neighborhood by keeping these items of value, either in an unlocked car or where they can clearly be visible,” he said. “We need the public’s help, keep your neighborhood safe, have this conversation."

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