Stolen guns are a big crime issue in south Georgia, and police say too many of guns are taken from cars, where they often wind up in the hands of criminals.
Wednesday during the guilty plea by Lt Cliff Rouse's killer, we learned for the first time that the Glock 9 millimeter gun used to kill the Dougherty County Police officer in 2010 was stolen out of a car. Police say too many people leave their guns in cars, and crooks are looking for those weapons.
Dougherty County Police Lt. M.J. Wood said "We've had numerous cases where people left their cars unlocked and guns in the vehicle. Some of these even in plain view where they could get to them."
20 year old Dontravius Thomas was a convicted felon, so the only way he could get a gun was illegally. Police warn that crooks breaking into cars know where you might try to hide it. So officers say if you are going to regularly carry a gun in your car, get your weapons permit to keep it with you when you get out.
Wood said "It's easy to carry them just about anywhere if you want to carry your gun with you, which is better than leaving it in your vehicle."
Police say most of the cases they investigate with guns stolen out of cars, happen in the owner's driveway.
Wood said "Whether it's a gun or any other property, bring them in the house and secure them there."
Police say guns stolen out of cars will too often end up in the hands of crooks, and could lead to deaths, as in the case of Lt. Cliff Rouse. Police say gun ownership is your right, but comes with a responsibility, so they urge you to get training on how to use and store it properly.