NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — From Nashville to Hendersonville to Gallatin, News 2 has documented the disturbing trend of young people breaking into unlocked cars and stealing whatever they can find.
And when a gun is the item stolen, it amplifies the degree of danger and concern for police and the community at large.
In Portland, alleged gun thieves have taken it to another brazen level, actually videoing themselves committing crimes and playing with guns.
According to investigators, the video was shot by teenagers as they drove around Sumner County committing crimes this past June.
Investigators said the teens shot the video clips before and after they broke into cars and homes.
Detectives told News 2, the teens range in age from 15 to 19 and stole at least three handgun guns.
The video provided by police shows a rare, disturbing glimpse behind the scenes, inside the teenage criminal mind.
The young men recklessly record themselves singing, smoking dope and handling loaded handguns.
Shockingly, the teens often point the weapons at each other and even at themselves.
One video clip shows one of the teens staring down the barrel of a stolen gun, zooming into the hollow point bullet trained right at his head. As he does so, he nonchalantly sings.
Chief Anthony Heavner told News 2 the video is alarming. “Accidents happen every day, and it could have very well been an accidental discharge in the car and killed him.”
Police told News 2 one of the guns was taken from an unlocked car. Two of the stolen weapons was reported stolen from home burglaries.
Chief Heavner admits the video is unique and offers insight into the mentality. “It is very disturbing.”
Thanks to these videos, detectives were able to find serial numbers and trace the guns back to their rightful owners.
“What I see is reckless behavior,” added Chief Heavner
Police say all but one of the teens is still incarcerated. Two of the juveniles are in due court next Tuesday.
News 2 has also learned that a mother of one of the teens was also arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of selling a controlled substance.
News 2 digs deeper into the disturbing trend of stolen guns, the impact on the area and the effect on crime rates. Watch our special reports “Guns of Nashville” all day Thursday in every newscast. Plus, stay tuned for a half-hour special Sunday, September 22 at 4:30 p.m. Click here for more.