NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro police say more than 60% of all guns reported stolen this year were taken from vehicles.
Metro police have reported 811 guns were stolen from vehicles in Nashville this year. More than 60% of all guns reported stolen in 2021 were taken from vehicles and last week, police say 23 guns were stolen from cars and trucks.
This is the type of crime Public Affairs Officer Kris Mumford said is preventable.
“It is shocking. Really it’s the easiest thing you can do to prevent crime. Lock your car door, secure your valuables. It sounds simple, but too many folks are leaving their vehicles unlocked with the keys inside. Also, valuables including guns. Secure your guns, keep them inside, and or, keep them in a safe in your car,” said Mumford.
Mumford added thieves are looking for crimes of opportunity, “They tend to be young people who are just pulling door handles. If the door opens, they look around, they grab whatever is in there and they take off. It’s very hard to get them identified, but later on down we find these guns used in violent crimes like carjacking’s and robberies.”
One example Mumford provided to News 2 occurred in April, 2021.
Midtown detectives arrested three juveniles wanted for a robbery and shooting of a 14-year-old victim on April 18. Police recovered three firearms, one stolen from an unlocked vehicle.
Detectives saw one of the suspects get into a silver Nissan Altima. During an investigative stop of the car, the 13-year-old was taken into custody. Also, in the vehicle was the second suspect, 19-year-old Michael Ferrell.
Police found the three guns, 40 rounds of ammunition four ounces of marijuana, prescription medication, and digital scales inside the vehicle. The third suspect, a 16-year-old was taken into custody at his home.
“We are working really closely with Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Calloway, and we are working with juvenile diversion so that when these children get into some kind of issues, we can work in getting them the assistance they need to prevent more crime from occurring. And these kids then get a chance,” said Mumford.
Mumford provided News 2 with another example of this type of crime on September 15, 2021.
In this case, a 14-year-old was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted robbery and vehicle theft after he and two accomplices approached several people in three parking lots.
Police said the first attempt happened at the Shell station in 1000 block of Shelby Avenue when the suspects approached the victim with a handgun, demanding money. The victim told them she did not have any and the suspects fled the scene.
Around 1:30 p.m. that same day, a man was returning to his vehicle parked at a strip mall in the 5500 block of Old Hickory Boulevard when he saw young men going through his car. He confronted the suspects and got into a fight with them. One of the juveniles fired a shot, hitting the victim’s car and then fled in an SUV.
About ten minutes later, those suspects were seen pulling on car door handles in the parking lot at the Waterford Landing Apartments on Old Hickory Boulevard. Police said they also demanded a woman’s purse at this location and she ran from them. The suspects left the scene in two vehicles, including a blue Honda CRV that had been reported stolen September 13 at 4 a.m. from the Mapco in the 700 block of Main Street.
Police eventually spotted a stolen silver Chevrolet Camaro on Main Street in East Nashville. The driver pulled into the Walgreens parking lot in the 700 block of Gallatin Avenue. That’s when two of three occupants, including the 14-year-old and a 12-year-old, were arrested. The third occupant, a 15-year-old who had been driving the car, was arrested shortly after. Officers recovered a handgun from his person. At present, he is charged with vehicle theft and juvenile handgun possession.
Police said the Camaro was stolen from a construction site in the 1900 block of Holly Street where it had been left unlocked with the keys inside.
“Minds are not developed, so we just as adults want to make sure we lock our car doors and make sure we secure our valuables including guns, so that these youngsters aren’t in this position to get in big trouble,” said Mumford.
Mumford provided another example to News 2 in which another car was left unlocked was stolen from a gas station.
According to a report from police, officers responded to the Shell Gas Station in the 600 block of Thompson Lane September 23 for a report of a stolen vehicle.
Upon arrival, police located the victim. The victim stated he came the gas station that morning and parked his vehicle in front of the store. He stated he left the vehicle running and the doors unlocked because he wouldn’t be in the store long. He got a coffee and told police when he went to go back to his vehicle it was missing.
On Thursday night, detectives located that stolen vehicle in the 200 block of Great Circle Road. Police say the occupants of the vehicle got out and started running. One suspect was apprehended by police shortly after and the other suspect crawled under a box truck to avoid being arrested. However, police say that suspect surrendered. The suspects arrested were a 16-year-old male and 18-year-old Andrew D. Mullins.
Mumford warns that leaving even just one valuable in your car for only a few moments could lead to this type of crime.
“They report to us a gun is missing or maybe a computer. I know often times I run a lot of reports of women going to workout and leaving purses in plain view. Men doing the same thing in leaving their wallets in the center console. Again, this is the kind of thing these folks are looking for,” said Mumford.
If you ever see one of these crimes being committed, call Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.