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Police Warn Of Thefts From Unlocked Vehicles

The theft of a loaded handgun from an unlocked vehicle overnight Thursday has prompted the Jamestown Police Department to remind city residents to avoid leaving valuable items out prime for the taking.

The handgun was reportedly taken from a pickup truck parked in a driveway on the south side of the city. Capt. Robert Samuelson of the Jamestown Police Department said the latest incident — in which permitted weapons were stolen from unlocked vehicles — is the third or fourth to occur within the last year.

“It’s just unacceptable and very irresponsible,” Samuelson said. “People have a duty to make sure their weapons are secured.”

Many items recently stolen, including purses, wallets, laptops and other electronics, have been stored inside a vehicle’s console or glove box. Even so, Samuelson said those who have taken valuables in the past said the practice is called “shopping,” where vehicles are checked one after the other to see which ones are unlocked.

“It is not uncommon for individuals to go around and to check vehicles to see if they are unlocked as the individuals are looking for valuables to take and sell for money or to trade for drugs,” JPD said in a news release. “At all times of the year the Jamestown Police (Department) gets complaints of larcenies from unlocked vehicles and items are reported as stolen.

“These cases are often difficult to investigate as there usually is very little evidence, and the property is often untraceable. Valuables such as wallets with large sums of money, computers or other high-value items should never be left inside an unattended and unlocked vehicle.

“Firearms should never be left in any unattended and unlocked vehicle at any time. Individuals who have pistol permits who leave their weapons in unattended vehicles and they have them stolen are subject to having their permits suspended and their privilege to carry a weapon revoked upon judicial review.”

Anyone with information regarding the recent thefts is asked to contact police 483-7537 or through the anonymous tip line at 483-Tips (8477). All calls are kept confidential.

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