NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Police say 681 guns have been stolen from vehicles in Nashville so far this year.
Metro Councilmember Jeff Syracuse says the problem is growing significantly in the Donelson area, mostly near motels and hotels.
“I don’t think folks are paying attention to the statistics,” Councilman Syracuse said.
According to MNPD, from Sunday, November 15 through Saturday, November 21, 70 percent of the automobiles taken (38 of 54) were easy targets because the keys were left inside or made available to thieves. Six of the 54 vehicles stolen were left running without the driver present.
During this reporting time period, a total of 16 guns were stolen from vehicles. Nine of those vehicles were left unlocked.
This issue took a tragic turn Tuesday when two juveniles were found dead following a shooting inside a stolen pickup truck on I-24.
Syracuse says the truck involved was taken from the Pennington Bend area after the keys were left inside. The pistol used was also stolen, according to police.
“You’ve got to take your guns out of your vehicles; you’ve got to lock your vehicles and you have to remove your valuables,” Syracuse said.
The Metro Nashville Police Department’s continuing PARK SMART campaign strongly urges people to lock their automobile doors, secure any valuables, including guns, and remove the keys.
“It should be alarming and all of us should do what we’ve got to do to make sure we’re not enabling the increase of crime in our community,” Syracuse said, adding that he’s recently met with hotel operators, MNPD and even the mayor’s office on combating the issue in the Donelson area.
“We really want to improve our effectiveness of communication, the quickness to where we can get that information to the Hermitage precinct and can direct resources better,” Syracuse said.
City leaders are now monitoring increased efforts and determining if it’s time to add more.