DONELSON, Tenn. (WKRN) — Between Sunday, November 22 and Saturday, November 28, 80% of cars stolen were easy targets because the keys were left inside or made available to thieves, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department.
For some living in the Donelson area, car theft and break-ins are common. Kladji Lemollari said he and his family have been living in the same neighborhood for the past nine years and believes cars make the perfect target for criminals.
“My mom’s car got broken into, not once, but twice in the past two years,” explained Lemollari, who said he’s thankful to have a new family car.
Now his home features a new lighting system, signs warning off intruders, and cameras to catch the next time this happens.
The Metro Nashville Police Department says criminals are targeting owners who are afraid of having their windows shattered from thieves trying to get in and instead simply leave their car door open.
This year alone, 696 guns have been stolen from cars across Nashville to date. It’s a high number government officials worry could turn deadly.
“Don’t let people steal your guns because these criminals are going to take them and use them in crimes later,” said Jeff Syracuse, Councilmen for District 15.
Syracuse has been pleading with the public online, encouraging them to practice taking their guns inside.
“I’m here to get the word out as much as possible, that we have avoidable crimes that are happening, and I really want people to make sure that they are thinking twice when they get out of their vehicle. Did you leave anything in there, visible, especially your guns?” Syracuse said.
The Metro Nashville Police Department is continuing efforts to encourage people to “PARK SMART,” urging people to lock their car doors, secure any valuables, and remove the keys.