KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Car burglaries in the city limits are up this year. The Knoxville Police Department says an alarming number of those break-ins involve firearms being stolen.

According to KPD spokesperson Scott Erland, in 2020 there were more than 100 reports of auto burglaries where a firearm was stolen. This year, there are already more than 60.

“Stolen firearms are often used in the commission of other violent crimes which includes homicides unnecessarily puts the public at risk,” Erland said.

Erland says a lot of these could have been prevented. A large number of them occurred in vehicles that were left unlocked. Police recommend locking doors, keeping valuable items out of view, or taking them out of the car altogether.

According to KPD preliminary reports, there’s a 30% increase in vehicle burglaries this year.