As more people go out to celebrate the holiday season, gun owners are warned: gun theft from vehicles is significantly up in Kansas City.
Through November this year, there have been 613 incidents of firearm-related thefts from vehicles. That is a 19% increase from 2020.
“The areas heavily involved in the thefts are parking lots where a large number of vehicles are parked and left unattended for a period of time,” said Sgt. Dawn Jones of the Property Crimes Unit. “These thefts occur during large-scale events within our city and peak hours in our entertainment districts.”
Nearly 40% of all these crimes have taken place in the city’s entertainment areas: Westport, the Power & Light District, The Country Club Plaza, the River Market, and the 18th & Vine District. The entertainment districts have some on and off-duty officers that patrol the lots, but many lots are privately owned and have no security measures.
As a result, Patrol Divisions and Property Crimes Division have conducted several joint overt and covert surveillance operations. KCPD will continue to target entertainment districts and venues with large crowds.
“This is a problem that has become a threat to public safety,” said Jones. “If you are going somewhere that a firearm is not allowed, we would recommend leaving the firearm secured in your home.”
Also of note, in 2021, there have been a total of nine guns reported stolen from vehicles at Arrowhead Stadium.
Stolen guns lead to violent crime and put more firearms in the hands of people that may not be able to legally possess or purchase them. In July, Raymore Police detectives advised they had recovered a firearm stolen from one of Kansas City’s entertainment districts. The stolen firearm was used in a homicide in their city.
Gun owners need to understand the responsibility that accompanies this ownership.