Greenville police issue warning after firearms stolen in 19 car - FOX Carolina 21

Greenville police issue warning after firearms stolen in 19 car break-ins

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(file photo) (file photo)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

After a string of auto break-ins, the Greenville Police Department is warning residents not to store firearms in their vehicles.

Officers said since October, 19 auto breakings have occurred in the city where firearms were stolen. In 12 of the incidents, police said the vehicles were unlocked and at least 6 had forced entry.

Below is a list of locations where the break-ins have occurred:

  • Anderson Street
  • Garraux Street
  • W Stone Avenue
  • Halton Road
  • Cleveland Street
  • Provence Street
  • Verdae Boulevard
  • Springhouse Way
  • North Pleasantburg Drive
  • Lincoln Street
  • Celand Street
  • Aisha Street
  • Eisenhower Drive
  • Woodruff Road
  • Sevier Street
  • Haywood Road

Several of those are in Julie Thompson's neighborhood, she was a victim back in late October.

From now on, she waits to hear the sound of her car locking before she walks inside. She said she has to check her every move. Her Pontiac was hit by thieves and after seeing what went missing, she said she can't help but feel like someone was watching her, knowing just where to look.

"The individuals lifted up my tire case, stole something and then lifted my purse and left," Thompson said.

It was what was inside her purse that's really left her on edge.

"I'm just scared because now something is missing that could possibly hurt someone," Thompson said.

Thompson said her pistol was insider her purse that night, her car was parked just feet from her back door.

"My concealed weapons permit, everything was missing," Thompson said. "Now something is missing that you would use to be able to be safe with."

Police encouraged residents to lock their doors and not leave firearms in their cars. Sgt. Johnathan Bragg said officers work hard to keep weapons off the streets and out of dangerous hands. He said cars being left unlocked is making it easy for thieves to pick them up.

"People that are breaking into cars are usually the people that don't need to have firearms in the first place," Bragg said. "They are either convicted felons or they are wanting to commit a crime with that firearm."

Gun experts said there's another way people may become a prime target without even realizing.

"A lot of people have NRA stickers on the back of their car or something like that which is an indicator that if they are part of a gun club," said Sharpshooters Owner Jim Braziel. "If they are in a gun club, then they probably have a gun."

Those stickers can be a tip-off for thieves, and Braziel said he's seen several customers come in recently looking to replace stolen firearms.

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