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SETX auto burglaries on the rise, guns targeted for theft

SETX autoburglaries on the rise, guns targeted for theft
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Auto burglaries are on the rise in Southeast Texas and law enforcement agencies are becoming concerned over one item in particular that thieves seem to be targeting

Triple A RV Park On The Lake off Viterbo Road. For many, a quiet home away from home. But recently it became a target for auto burglars.

"There were three young men that we walking through just casually took their time. In over an hour’s time they were able to ease up on unlocked vehicles, open them, and some of the things taken were very important," said Captain Crystal Holmes with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

In the surveillance camera video, you can see the thieves trying the handles of several cars and even sitting in the driver's seat of one. Residents lost wallets and other personal items, but the most important and danger thing stolen -- firearms.

“There’s been times where there’s other things of value in the vehicles and they seem to be looking for guns. There was a wallet inside in plain view. They did not take the wallet and there’s an assumption that they were looking for possibly firearms," said Captain Holmes.

Officers are concerned that theft victims may be unintentionally giving criminals the ammunition they need to commit more crimes.

"We’re putting them in the hands of criminals. So They’re going out on the streets, they’re committing other crimes, they’re selling the guns to other individuals. We have had some of our stolen firearms recovered in other states," said Captain Holmes.

Captain Holmes says many stolen guns are never recovered. She suggests writing down the make, model and serial number of the firearm in the event it's stolen, and if you have to leave a gun in your vehicle, use a lockbox.

“The only way that we’re going to stop that is to be responsible as a firearm owner. Take those guns out of your vehicles, know where they are at all times. As a community, we need to work together to take measures to make our whole community safer," said Captain Holmes.

In the meantime, the search for the thieves will continue.

"We’re out in those communities, but we also ask that the communities be the eyes and ears. If you see something, say something," said Captain Holmes.

Speaking up to recover what's lost while trying to prevent thefts in the first place.

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Captain Holmes is asking that anyone with further information reach out to Crime Stoppers at 409-833-TIPS. Most importantly, remove guns from vehicle and stay vigilant.

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