NewsCovering Kentucky


Preventing Violent Crime Starts By Locking Your Car Or Truck

Posted at 10:40 AM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 12:59:40-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18)– It starts with pulling a car door handle, and can end with someone pulling a trigger. Since 2015, 745 firearms have been reported stolen from vehicles in Lexington. Only about 20 percent of those guns have been confirmed recovered.

“A stolen gun is a crime gun. When these firearms are recovered, they are often found abandoned in a stolen vehicle, in the hands of a juvenile, or through the investigation of criminal activity, such as drug trafficking,” said Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers. “The number of guns stolen from vehicles is simply unacceptable. We need the community’s help in preventing these crimes from occurring.”

Examples of guns being stolen from cars or trucks include:

  • November 2018: Through the investigation of a shooting, Lexington Police recovered a Taurus revolver that had been reported stolen in October. The victim had kept the gun in the side door compartment of her SUV, and accidentally left the vehicle unlocked.
  • October 2018: Three 15-year-old robbery suspects were found in possession of a Kel-Tec P-11 9mm handgun. The gun had been reported stolen out of a vehicle in 2009 in New Hanover County, North Carolina.
  • July 2018: Officers recovered a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol during the execution of a search warrant related to a shooting. The weapon had been reported stolen in March 2018 when a man reported that he left his truck unlocked with the gun inside.
  • June 2018: A 16-year-old male was charged with theft of a firearm after officers caught him allegedly checking car door handles. In his bag was a Taurus .40-caliber handgun.

Thefts from vehicles are one of the most common crimes in Lexington, with 2,657 reported last year. But the crimes are also easy to prevent by not leaving valuables in the vehicle and always locking car doors. In addition to firearms, other valuables frequently reported stolen through a break-in include purses, cash, checkbooks, credit cards, laptops and mobile devices, jewelry, and medication.

2015 2016 2017 2018*
Thefts from motor vehicle 2,834 3,137 2,657 1,988
Firearms stolen from vehicle 159 181 222 183

*Through October 31, 2018

“We can’t be complacent about crime prevention,” Chief Weathers said. “Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle, and always – always – lock your doors.”