The number of thieves breaking into cars and leaving with guns is on the rise. The Cape Coral Police Department tells Four In Your Corner, there's been an increase of the number of firearms that have been stolen from unlocked cars in the city.
Sgt. Dana Coston with Cape Coral Police says this is a crime of opportunity. Thieves will take whatever gun they find and it will most likely be used in a crime.
Most recently, Cape Coral PD responded to a suspicious vehicle call at Hancock Ball Park where officers saw 20 year old, Anthony Satchel, seated in the driver's seat, reaching down in front of him, near the floor board. Officers asked Satchel and the two passengers to leave the car to conduct a narcotics investigation, once they smelled burnt cannabis coming from the car.
While searching the car, officers found a handgun under the driver's seat where Satchel was seated.
"Under that front seat, they found a loaded high point 38-caliber hand gun," Coston said. "The investigation also revealed to us that firearm was actually stolen out of a vehicle earlier this year."
From January to April, there have been 21 firearms stolen from cars left unlocked in Cape Coral.
"Unfortunately, I have to report today that as of the beginning of June, the most recent numbers I have, those numbers have increased from 21 to 32."
Sgt. Coston tells Four In Your Corner the highest number of firearms stolen Cape Coral PD has seen city wide is in the south district.
"Everything south of veterans parkway all the way to the water," he said. "Part of that is because it's also the most populous area of the city."
Sgt. Coston says about 95 percent of car burglaries in Cape Coral happen simply because people leave their cars unlocked.
"We're not saying if you lock your cars, you're immune from crime. What we are saying is you're making yourself much less likely to be the victim of crime."
To track crime in your neighborhood, click here.