Gun thefts in and around Virginia’s capital soar this decade

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gun thefts in Virginia’s capital city and surrounding counties have soared recently — a trend a top law enforcement officer says ultimately results in more crimes and violence.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports local police have received almost 5,900 firearm theft reports from 2010 to 2017, citing data from police in Richmond and Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover counties. The paper says the theft reports rose 62 percent during the period, with weapons taken from vehicles spiking.

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham wants the General Assembly to pass a law mandating gun owners report thefts. He says theft reports during the eight-year period would be double with such a requirement.

The newspaper says the region’s numbers outpace the nation and Virginia. Authorities believe growth in Virginia firearm sales creates more theft opportunities.

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