The Albuquerque Police Department is warning of another increase in gun thefts from vehicles

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Police call it a crime of opportunity, people steal guns from cars, and it seems the opportunity is on the rise. Albuquerque Police Department Deputy Chief Cicely Barker said it’s a concerning trend they’ve noticed for some time. Last year in May alone, 34 guns were stolen from vehicles.

“I would say it definitely hasn’t slowed down,” Barker said. APD has seen that trend pick up again in recent weeks with more firearms stolen from vehicles during auto burglaries. Anywhere from apartment complex parking lots to hotel lots along the I-25 corridor.

“Specifically, in one week, we recognized that three cars were broken into in an apartment complex where firearms were taken from each vehicle. In addition to hotels, vehicles parked in parking lots were broken into, firearms including shotguns were stolen from those vehicles,” Barker said.

In January and February of this year, APD says 47 firearms were taken. “That’s a lot, I think one firearm is a lot. We don’t want to see firearms in the hands of anyone who would use them to commit a crime.”

In many cases, those stolen guns are used in violent crimes. “We know that homicides involve firearms that were either taken from a vehicle or from a burglary,” Barker said.

As the weather warms, Barker believes the trend will worsen. That’s why he says APD is trying to be proactive, reminding people that if you leave your weapons in your car, keep it concealed and lock it. “We have uniformed officers and a presence in hotel parking lots and apartment complexes, crime prevention, doing what we can, and that’s just part of that bigger picture.”

Nine firearms were stolen from a trailer attached to a car in 2022 Since then, APD says those stolen guns have now been linked to at least five crimes

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