Statesboro Police raises awareness of firearm thefts and car break-ins

 A post on the Statesboro Police Department’s Facebook pages displays statistics regarding car breaks-ins and gun theft. 

Emma Smith

The Statesboro Police Department has observed a significant number of firearm thefts from cars within the past two years.

According to a post on Statesboro PD’s Facebook page, 71 firearms were stolen from vehicles in 2016 and 2017. Within that time span, 501 vehicles were unlawfully entered and 412 of them were unlocked.

In May of 2017, the Georgia House Bill 280 was signed for all University System of Georgia campuses and enabled all students over the age of 21 with a gun permit to carry concealed handguns on-campus.

Statesboro PD Deputy Chief Rob Bryan said that although the theft numbers are not directly correlated with campus carry statistics, there is still a major issue.

“The resounding problem is that most issues occur with unlocked cars,” Bryan said. “It’s a constant problem and we want to decrease people’s likelihood of being a victim. Imagine how much lower these numbers would be if people would just lock their car.”

Statesboro PD Chief Mike Broadhead said in an email that in 2016, there were a total of 289 “entering auto” cases, of which 51 were “forced” entry and 238 were to unlocked vehicles. In 2017, there were a total of 212 “entering auto” cases, of which 38 were forced and 174 were to unlocked vehicles.

The first five vehicle-related thefts of 2018 have involved cars with keys left inside. Statesboro PD recently posted on its Twitter account reminding students to make sure their vehicles are locked at 9 p.m. every night.

“This is generally the time that most people are winding down or getting home, so this is just a way to remind them to make sure their vehicles [are] locked and their firearm is secure,” Madison Warren, community information specialist for Statesboro PD, said.

Anyone with information regarding thefts should contact Statesboro PD at (912) 764-9911 or Georgia Southern PD at (912) 478-5234.

Emma Smith, News Reporter, [email protected]