Salt Lake police say gun thefts up 24%

Police say gun thefts in Salt Lake City alone have risen 24% over the three-year average.

Police say gun thefts in Salt Lake City alone have risen 24% over the three-year average. (Barton Glasser, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY – The Salt Lake City Police Department is urging residents to keep their guns secure. The department published a video Wednesday, saying gun thefts rose 24% last year over the three-year average.

In the video, detective Mike Ruff says those numbers represent just the stolen guns that have been reported to the police.

He urged residents not to leave their guns where they could easily be taken by thieves or discovered by children.

Ruff offered tips for how to keep your firearms safe from thieves.

"Secure guns in a safe. Do not store them in an unsecure part of your home such as closets, unlocked drawers or under a bed. Do not leave your guns in a vehicle, especially when parked in an unsecure location," Ruff said.

He went on to say gun owners can take steps that would help police recover the firearms if they are stolen.

"Take photographs of your firearms and track the serial numbers. This is important information to have as part of the investigation," he said.

Police say there were 294 reports of stolen firearms in Salt Lake City last year, and 19 new reports since Jan. 1 of this year.

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