WESLEY CHAPEL (FOX 13) - Police remind us all the time to lock our car doors, but people are still forgetting -- and now gun owners are being robbed for it.
Pasco County deputies said five guns were stolen from neighborhoods over this past week in what they call crimes of opportunity. Deputies said three different neighborhoods in Wesley Chapel and Land O’Lakes have been targeted since Wednesday.
Home surveillance video showed just how easy it was for car burglars to rob a vehicle in the middle of the night.
“We don’t suspect that they’re connected, it’s just an easy crime to commit,” said Kevin Doll, a spokesperson for Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities said teens and adults as well as men and women have been burglarizing cars, and the thieves are driving to Pasco County from other surrounding counties.
One neighbor remembered what she woke up to in her Wesley Chapel neighborhood.
“It was just alarming that it happened when people were awake. My kids were going to the bus stop, and there were cops everywhere interviewing neighbors,” said resident Shana Mitchell.
The stolen goods range from wallets and purses to guns, and now there are a shocking number of guns in the wrong hands.
“We’ve had 58 firearms stolen from car burglaries since January 1 of this year. Only seven of those weapons have been recovered,” said Doll.
Authorities don’t want you to wait until a crime happens to you before you change your habits.
“So, after I had a break-in at my home, I got cameras. My alarm system was always set, and I’m a lot more conscious of making sure my car doors are locked,” said Mitchell.
But some people admit that life happens, and sometimes you can forget to lock your doors when you are in a hurry.
Deputies said stolen guns are used in other crimes, so they are stressing that people take them out of cars and lock them up.