Money, Guns Stolen from Unlocked Vehicles in Tega Cay
The seemingly safe community of Tega Cay has just been dealt a double blow to their piece of mind. According to Maj. David Nelson of the Tega Cay Police Department, three handguns were taken along with money, keys, sunglasses, and wallets have been taken from unlocked cars in the city. Not only do these thefts threaten the idea of a safe community, but the fact that there are now three guns in the hands of criminals who have yet to be found.
Crimes of Opportunity
The recent rash of car break-ins has caused a lot of additional questions and concerns for those living in the area. Residents who leave their cars unlocked are not subject to possible break-ins, but crimes of opportunity. In other words, those who leave their cars unlocked are easy targets for thieves, and more opportunities lead to more crime, something nobody wants happening in their neighborhood. With Tega Cay and Fort Mill residential sites growing by the day, the local communities run the risk of encountering even more crime, lowering general safety and the sense of a tight-knit, family-centric community.
Residents are Angry at their neighbors’ Carelessness
Opinions about these preventable thefts range from the concern for carelessness behind vulnerable, unlocked vehicles to charges of negligence for gun owners who keep firearms in their vehicle, especially unlocked vehicles to anger about the terms (break-in vs. crime of opportunity) local news reports are using. The number of thefts is staggering, but the number of people who are leaving vehicles unlocked is even more so. Nearly 40 vehicles, 37 to be exact, were left unlocked in the city’s peninsula area, according to Nelson. Meanwhile, people wonder where those guns have gone and are afraid of where and how they might show back up.
False Sense of Security may be Tega Cay’s Downfall
Residents are most concerned – and angry – about the three stolen guns. The investigation is still open and no arrests have been made, leaving residents fearing the stolen guns might be used in a violent crime. One resident said “Irresponsible gun owners should be charged too. Especially if they try to retrieve their stolen property!” while another claims there is “a relaxed sense of security” in Tega Cay. This false sense of security may prompt more cases like this and could result in disaster. With criminals who know that affluent areas such as Tega Cay will garnish more expensive goods during their crime sprees, guns are apparently unfathomably accessible to thieves.
With up to 600,000 guns are stolen every year in the US – that’s one every minute – there’s no sense in enabling further statistics to grow. These weapons, which are overwhelmingly handguns, are moving directly from legal to illegal possessors leaving those who are carrying firearms for self-protection arming the very people they fear. Using a stolen gun to commit further crimes, especially violent ones may weigh heavy enough on gun owner’s minds to encourage them to keep their personal firearms locked up in their homes.