RCPD sounds the alarm on gun thefts

The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 4:47 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Rapid City Police Department is combatting gun thefts by educating people on the dangers of storing your firearm in your car.

Stealing a gun is often a criminal’s easiest route to obtaining a firearm. This leaves gun owners responsible for securing their weapons so they can’t be used in a crime. When it comes to stolen weapons, 52% are taken from cars parked at a house. This number comes from a National Library of Medicine study that also found about 380,000 guns are stolen annually in the United States.

“The big phrase that we use is that a car makes a terrible gun safe, but the reality is that if you are going to own a firearm, you must be a responsible firearm owner, and being a responsible firearm owner means that you are accountable 24/7 for the whereabouts of that gun and its security,” said Brendyn Medina, Public Information Officer of RCPD.

Medina explained having your gun stolen can often lead to more crimes being committed and people who are willing to steal a gun are overwhelmingly going to be willing to use that gun for additional crimes.

“But if that gun does get taken then it’s really hard to do the follow-up to track that gun and the most probable reality is that we’re not going to recover that gun until we’re called to another criminal incident in which that gun was used,” said Medina.

Medina also explained this problem is unfortunately disproportionately worse in Rapid City than in other communities of similar sizes. RCPD is hoping that by bringing awareness to issues like this, they will see the number of stolen guns gradually decrease as people become more informed about how they are stolen. Those looking for a start to protecting their guns can go to the Pennington County Public Safety building and they will give you a gun lock that renders the firearm useless until unlocked. For more information on gun thefts click here.