May 21, 2024 - News

Richmond has one of the highest rates of guns stolen from cars in the nation

Illustration of an outline where a gun should be held.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Richmond has one of the highest rates of gun thefts from cars in the U.S. — and the highest in Virginia — according to a new report by the gun safety group Everytown.

Why it matters: Gun thefts from cars are the largest source of stolen guns in the nation, and these guns are often later used in other crimes, including homicides, the report notes.

State of play: Everytown analyzed almost a decade of FBI crime data from 337 cities across 44 states with a combined population of about 63 million people.

  • The analysis found that the rate of gun thefts from cars in these cities has tripled from 2013, rising from an estimated 21 thefts per 100,000 people that year to 63 thefts per 100,000 people in 2022.
  • In Richmond, the rate of car gun thefts is nearly seven times higher than it was a decade ago.

By the numbers: In 2022, 218.3 guns were stolen from cars per 100,000 people in Richmond; in 2013, it was 33.7 per 100,000 people.

  • That equates to 496 guns stolen from cars in Richmond in 2022 compared to 70 in 2013.

The big picture: The surge in gun thefts from cars began during the pandemic when the data shows there was a 51% year-over-year increase in these thefts. It has only increased since then.

Worth noting: In 2019, RPD launched its "Love it? Then lock it, or lose it" campaign aimed at asking locals to stop leaving valuables, especially guns, in unlocked cars.

  • That year, 212 guns were stolen from cars in Richmond. Thus far this year, approximately 140 guns have been stolen from vehicles in Richmond. Last year, it was 644, RPD told WRIC.

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