WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) –
There is a rise in the number of guns being stolen from cars and homes in Wichita.
"We do have a large amount of firearms beings stolen from vehicles," said Officer Charley Davidson, Wichita Police. "If you have a firearm and you can’t take it with you, perhaps put it in a lock box or somewhere secure."
One of the owners of Range 54, by Kellogg and Edgemoor, recommends that people buy safes for both their cars and homes.
"It’s on us, as gun owners, to maintain control over them. We need to keep them secured, locked up, out of the way of unauthorized people, whether it’s children in the home, children visiting the home, or somebody that breaks into the home and maybe steals it," said Ken Grommet, co-owner of Range 54.
As a retired police officer, Grommet knows too well that criminals are opportunistic, especially around cars.
He recommends a gun safe for less than $50 to store the gun in a locked box and can be connected to the seat.
"If you break into a car and you come across the safe and it’s cabled down, unless you have the tools to deal with it, you’re moving on to something else," said Grommet.
The number guns stolen out of cars is rising from year to year, as well as the number of guns taken from homes in Wichita.
Since the beginning of the year, there have been 219 guns taken from cars and 382 guns taken from homes.
"When they get stolen, often times, they don’t get returned. It’s on us, as owners, to maintain control over the firearm. Keep it locked up, keep it on our possession, or whatever it may be, but we’re responsible," said Grommet.
While police don’t track the number of stolen guns used in violent crimes, two high-profile cases have been noted with suspects having stolen guns.
In July, a Wichita police officer shot and killed an intruder, who broke into his home. That suspect stole a gun from a car.
Last week, Deputy Robert Kunze was shot and killed by a suspect with a stolen gun.
"These are tragedies that we hear about guns being stolen and them being used on people," said Grommet.