Gun thefts from unlocked vehicles are growing in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city has seen an increase in the number of guns stolen from unlocked cars, according to new data from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

New figures show that there were 522 incidents in 2020 of guns being stolen from unlocked cars.

In 2019, 63 fewer incidents were reported, which equates to 459. In 2018, 407 events were logged, which is a difference of 52.

“We’ve made these stories over and over again, and we often remind gun owners that they need to be more responsible and aware of where their guns are at all times,” said Ken Jefferson, news4Jax crime and security expert. “People just get careless.”

Jefferson says the worst place to keep a gun is in a car. Here’s what he had to say about thieves getting a gun:

“The perpetrator will do one of two things: use it for another crime, or try to sell it,” Jefferson said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office sent nightly reminders through social media so people could lock their car doors. It was known as the 9pm routine. It also served as a reminder for people to remove their valuables from their vehicle. Based on the latest social media posts, it is unclear whether the Sheriff’s Office is still promoting the initiative.

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