KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knoxville Police Department is urging residents to secure their firearms with nearly 80 guns reported stolen from cars so far in 2022.

Police said 134 guns were reported stolen within the city limits this year, including 76 stolen from cars or trucks. Five were reported stolen in the week beginning on May 23.

Data from the KPD Crime Analysis Unit found that more than half of the total number of guns stolen in the city this year were taken from vehicles.

A total of 160 guns were stolen from vehicles in Knoxville in 2021. KPD said 2022 is currently on track to surpass last year’s total.

“Stolen guns are frequently used in serious crimes, to include robberies, carjackings and shootings, both here in Knoxville and in cities across the region and country.”

KPD Spokesperson Scott Erland

Police urge those who carry to take the following precautions to prevent thefts:

  • Always secure your vehicle by locking the doors and rolling up the windows. 
  • Safely secure or remove all valuables from your vehicle, particularly firearms. Firearms should be stored in a lock box. 
  • Never leave your keys inside your vehicle, which also greatly reduces the possibility that your vehicle will be stolen. 

Guns that are stolen should be reported with knowledge of the serial numbers in the event that they are stolen.