Police push awareness in fight to stop gun thefts

Posted: Updated:

Too many guns are being stolen from vehicles in the city of Wichita. And while the numbers are going down, which police credit to awareness of the issue, there’s more work to be done.

“It’s improving, it’s still a problem,” said Police Chief Gordon Ramsay. “Any gun in the hands of a bad guy is not one that we want out here.”

So far this year, police say 126 guns could be in the hands of that bad guy Ramsay mentioned. They were stolen from cars in the city since January 1. But compared to the same date in 2018, the number of guns stolen from cars was much higher – 179. And two of those guns were used to attack law enforcement.

“Last year alone, we had two law enforcement officers in this county who were shot by stolen guns,” Ramsay said.

One of those officers was Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Kunze.

“We know we have individuals out there that are purposefully looking for guns in cars. And targeting guns in cars,” Ramsay said.

To combat it, the Lt. Scott Brunow started posting regular updates on stolen car statistics on social media. Additionally, Police started “Operation Save a Casing” which allows gun owners to submit spent shell casings to investigators in the even their gun is stolen. The idea is that it’s easier to track if that gun were used in a crime.

The Department is also offering information on gun safes and locks were available last weekend at substations.

But as the problem persists, you’ll likely hear repeated message from Ramsay and other law enforcement officers.

“Lock them up,” he said.