Keep your car locked and don’t leave your gun inside. Sioux Falls Police say it week after week, but the message isn’t sinking in.
Locking your car doors may seem like common sense, but thieves are still taking advantage of those who forget. Sioux Falls residents, Kelsey Hefner and her dad John Wagner agree this problem is troubling.
“When people are stealing those from vehicles you don’t know where they’re going to end up or they’re purposes of using them are,” Hefner said.
“People who own firearms, when they do get a firearm, they have a certain responsibility to keep it safe and out of the hands of people that shouldn’t have firearms and so they should go the extra level of security to lock that firearm up or not even leave it in their vehicle at all,” Wagner said.
Police say stolen guns are often involved in other crimes.
A convenience store on 11th street was robbed and is just one of the locations Sioux Falls Police say stolen guns used in a crime.
Even people from out of town agree everyone needs to take more responsibility.
“It’s definitely very much of a concern with all we’ve heard about gun violence, it’s getting out of hand and one of the ways is to keep guns out of people that have no business having guns,” visiting Sioux Falls, Darrell Bosch said.
Which is why residents of Sioux Falls are hoping people start listening to police.
“The firearm cost money and so would you leave $200 sitting on your car seat at night, it’s just one of those things where if you’re going to leave your car unlocked, don’t leave valuables inside it,” Wagner said.
KELOLAND News reached out to police departments across the state about what they’ve been seeing.
Rapid City police say the problem has gone down compared to last year.
In Vermillion, so far this year there have been no reports of guns stolen from vehicles, however police there helped recover a gun stolen from another city.
Watertown police say they’ve had 15 guns reported stolen. They’re unsure how many involved unlocked cars.
Mitchell Police recall one incident in May where a gun stolen from an unlocked vehicle was used to rob 4 people.
Brookings Police say they haven’t had any guns stolen from vehicles this year, however they had four cases by this time last year.