Residents still leaving guns in unlocked cars, burglary rates show

The number of guns stolen from cars in St. Johns County continued its trend upward as 2017 drew to a close.


In all, there were 72 guns taken in car burglaries last year with 64 of those being stolen from unlocked cars.

That is compared to 58 stolen guns in 2016, when 55 were taken from unlocked cars, and 43 in 2015, when 39 were stolen without the use of force.

“It’s still predominately non-forced entry thefts,” St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan told The Record on Friday, discussing the recent numbers that his agency provided.

The trend upward comes as the Sheriff’s Office has continued an extensive social media campaign, now designated with the hashtag moniker #9pmroutine, reminding residents to remove their valuables from their cars at night and lock their car doors.

“We didn’t brand the name,” Mulligan said of the new hashtag.

An agency somewhere else in Florida did that, he said. But the name seems to have spread, with other local law enforcement agencies, including the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, St. Augustine Police Department and St. Augustine Beach Police Department, pushing out evening reminders last year for people to take their valuables inside and lock up.

Mulligan said it is important for people to realize that cars are being burglarized on a fairly routine basis and that it often happens at night, not while out running errands throughout the day.

“Most of these are occurring in their driveways,” Mulligan said.

In general, Mulligan told The Record