RCSD reports drop in gun thefts, credits ongoing investigations

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 9:23 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) told WIS that gun thefts from cars have declined by approximately 50% since this time last year.

RCSD reported 81 stolen guns at this time in 2020, 130 at this time in 2021 and 121 at this time in 2022.

In comparison, 59 guns have been stolen from cars in RCSD’s jurisdiction this year.

“That’s due to some proactive efforts on our part, with our Motor Vehicle Theft and Larceny From Auto Unit. Actually, we’ve had some specific targets that we have been working on for the last six or eight months,” said Chris Lindler, Captain of RCSD’s Property Crimes Unit.

Capt. Lindler credited the drop in gun thefts to ongoing criminal investigations.

The department said they identified a series of groups responsible for breaking into cars, specifically for firearms, sometime last year.

On Friday, RCSD confirmed that arrests have been made in connection with these groups, with suspects ranging anywhere in age from mid-teens to early twenties.

Capt. Lindler’s message to the public as RCSD continues their search:

“Don’t be lazy. Take your firearm out of your vehicle if you go inside at night. Try not to leave it in there, if at all possible. Even if you have it in a locked glove box or a locked compartment somewhere. Nothing is safe inside of that vehicle,” said Lindler. “Car break-ins are crimes of opportunity… Remove that type of stuff from your vehicle and it’ll keep helping us.”

RCSD said they anticipate more arrests as their search into stolen guns continue.

While it isn’t a crime to not reporting your firearm stolen, RCSD encourages you to reach out if it happens.

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