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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Over the past month, 31 guns have been stolen from vehicles and Murfreesboro police are hoping you can help identify the suspects who were captured on video.
The one common element in most of the cases, the doors of the vehicles were unlocked.
A camera mounted on a house on Cortez Drive in Murfreesboro captured two suspects running down the street and then going vehicle-to-vehicle looking for unlocked doors.
“We all have a sense of security in our neighborhood, in our homes, in our driveways, we don’t expect to become the victim of crimes, but unfortunately there are people out there who will take advantage of your honesty and they will break into your car and steal what’s in there,” said Murfreesboro police spokesman Sgt. Kyle Evans.
Suspects were also captured on video on Sheffield Park Drive and Red Jack Trace looking for unlocked vehicles and anything of value to steal.
“Many people are out late at night so it doesn’t raise the flag of suspicion that they are up to no good,” Evans said.
Since May 20, 30 guns have been reported stolen from vehicles, another one just Wednesday night.
Police believe this is a crime of opportunity.
“They’re stealing anything they can from spare change, to CDs, to firearms that were left in the vehicles,” the police spokesman said.
Back in January, News 2 reported there were an increasing number of firearms stolen from vehicles.
Murfreesboro resident Terry Parks was a victim. His .380 semi-automatic handgun was stolen from his truck parked in his driveway.
“Hopefully no one is going to end up getting hurt or killed because of something like that,” Parks told News 2 back then. “It’s scary.”
What’s also scary to police where the stolen guns may end up.
“Those guns then get in the hands of criminals who are buying these guns illegally and eventually they end up being used in a violent crime and that’s what we’ve trying to prevent,” Evans said.
The suspects, seen in the videos, appear to be juveniles and police said when school is out, the number of car burglaries increases.
Police said parents should always know where their children are.
“But the number one thing that a resident can do to protect themselves is to lock their door, the second thing they can do is take their valuables, especially their firearms out of the vehicle and take them inside. If there is nothing for a burglar to steal then they are going to move on to the next car,” Evans said.
Police also suggested starting a neighborhood watch program or other crime prevention measures.
Officers have also increased overnight patrol in neighborhoods where most of the car burglaries are taking place.
If you recognize any of the suspects in the video, Rutherford County CrimeStoppers is offering up to a $1,000 for information leading to their arrest. Call 615-893-STOP with information.