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FERRIER FILES: Police shed light on surprising connection between gun and auto thefts

(WZTV)

The Clarksville Police Department looked at all their auto burglaries for 2017 and found some truly surprising trends.

The department found one out of every seven car burglaries lead to a gun theft. An astonishing 49 of the 51 stolen guns came out of unlocked cars with no forced entry.

“The thing that is even more scary about this is that the vast majority of these vehicles were in people's front yards,” said Clarskville PIO Jim Knoll. "People are willing to come up in your driveway and take things."

Knoll said the car gun thefts were generally between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.

At Royal Range in Bellevue, gun safety and training go hand-in-hand whether its a simple permit class or an advanced course.

Bob Allen taught Metro Nashville Police officers use of force for decades. He is now director of training at Royal Range and has some theories on guns in open cars.

"People are so busy and so distracted," Allen said. "Let me tell you if you exit the car talking on your cellphone, you are not going to take care of making your car safe."

Allen also wondered if the new law that allows you to keep a gun in your car, even if you are not a carry permit holder, is influencing people.

"The rule is; if you leave it in the car, get a car safe that attaches to your car," Allen said. "And if you don’t want to do that, bring the gun into the house."

Whatever the reason for guns being left in unlocked cars, it is a bad idea.

“It would be a tragedy to see on the news and find out it was your firearm that was taken because we didn't secure it correctly,” Allen said.

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