OPD: firearms in the wrong hands after increase in vehicle burglaries

OPD: firearms in the wrong hands after increase in vehicle burglaries

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - You might be making it easy for thieves to commit more crimes. That's if you're leaving your cars and pick-ups unlocked. Police said guns and spare keys are the most commonly taken.

Odessa Police Department tell me thieves aren't making a real effort to steal. That's because so many vehicle doors are left unlocked. The firearms stolen often land in the wrong hands.

During the month of November, 10 firearms were stolen in Odessa. All were taken from an unlocked vehicle.

Odessa police said those firearms were taken from law abiding citizens and are now in the wrong hands.

"Either they'll keep the firearm for themselves or they sell it," said Detective Sam Chavez with The Odessa Police Department. "Drugs, trade and of course the firearm is in other people's hands that they very well may be felons."

Many thieves are also finding spare keys inside unlocked vehicles. Commonly the key belongs to the vehicle it's already in or a vehicle nearby.

Police tell us the thieves are using the firearms and vehicles to commit more crimes. This holiday season thieves will be even more tempted.

"I can't really tell you a specific time when it's happening the most, because here in Odessa it happens all the time," said Chavez. "Now with the holidays coming up, a lot more people will leave property in the vehicles."

Police said there's only a few ways to slow down these thieves. Don't tempt them, take out all your valuables and lock your vehicles.

Police said it's also very important to always keep a log with serial numbers and pictures of valuables.

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