23 firearms stolen from vehicles in Lakewood in 3 months

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- The Lakewood Police Department is asking gun owners to be more responsible.

Between May 1 and July 15, police have received 23 reports of guns being stolen from 20 vehicles. Some vehicles were locked and some were not.

“We understand people have (guns) for safety, but you also have a responsibility to keep the public safe and by letting those be left in your vehicle, you’re also a danger to the public,” police agent Lindsay Jones said.

The spike in gun thefts comes on the heels of a rash of smash-and-grabs at local gun stores.

State law allows Coloradans to have a loaded firearm in their vehicle while traveling, with exceptions in locations where guns are not allowed such as school zones.

“When you think about what crimes guns are used in -- kidnappings, robberies, even homicides -- we don’t want people leaving their guns in their cars,” Jones said. “Their guns are potentially used in those crimes.”

Police recommend putting guns in a safe box in vehicles or remove them when not using the vehicle.