Aiming for responsible: Police urge gun caution

Published 12:13 am Saturday, July 6, 2019

Port Arthur Police Department has noted an increase in auto burglaries in the past two months, some of which include the theft of firearms.

Of the 44 auto burglaries in May and June, almost 25% involved firearms being taken, PAPD Officer Wendy Billiot said.

The department is encouraging safe and responsible gun ownership and asks citizens to not leave guns or other valuables in your vehicle. Stolen guns could end up being pawned or sold on the streets.

“Lock your vehicle like you would lock your home,” Billiot, one of the department’s public information officers, said. “And don’t leave valuables in your vehicle, especially firearms.”

PAPD also suggest for citizens to record and keep in a safe place, the make, model and serial number of all firearms they own. A serial number is required to enter stolen property into the national database and without it, the chances of recovering reported stolen property is greatly reduced.

Auto burglary in general is a crime of opportunity, she said, some occurring in hotel parking lots and others in neighborhoods where the suspect will walk through and try to open vehicle doors.

Narcotics and Gun Unit

PAPD has revised their Narcotics Unit and has shifted to the title of Narcotics and Guns Unit.

They will be targeting and focusing on stolen guns and gun trafficking as well as continuing their work in narcotics investigations, she said.

With an increase in gun thefts an emphasis is being placed on trying to recover stolen guns and curtailing the illegal trade and sale of guns.