Police: Violent crime down, property crime up in Greenville


GREENVILLE, Pitt County - Over the last year, NewsChannel 12 has told you that violent crimes are down in Greenville. But it turns out property crimes are up.

In the last 13 and a half months, Greenville Police say 903 cars were broken into and 81 firearms stolen. That's a cause for concern for police.

"Out of those 81, 74 were in unsecured, unlocked vehicles, so now we have a huge amount of weapons out on the street," said Lt. David Bowen with Greenville Police. That in turn creates a public safety issue for the police department. Bowen believes the unlocked cars are due to a lack of attention. He says in this day and age, people just have too much going on to think about locking their car. "But now you have weapons that could be in a gang member's hands. They could be just young teenagers that really have no idea what the responsibility of being in possession of a weapon and now you don't just have criminal acts but acts where people could be hurt," Bowen said.

NewsChannel 12 took these statistics to Lindsey Richardson at Colt's Gun & Pawn. She says she was not surprised by the numbers. "If you are going to leave your vehicle and you have to leave your gun in the car, there are gun vaults you can mount to your car so someone can't take it. Other than that, it's simple don't leave it unattended in your car able to be stolen," Richardson said. She says not being responsible with your firearm is not only a reflection of the owner but a danger to the community. Bowen says the department wants to use these statistics to create an awareness campaign for the public on why it's so important to secure your belongings, be aware of your surroundings and never feel like it is safe to leave your car unlocked even at your own home.

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