Cherokee County investigators are reminding homeowners to lock their vehicles after a group entered nearly 80 cars in search of unsecured firearms in recent months.
The most recent string of entering autos occurred Sunday when 21 vehicles were burglarized overnight in a neighborhood off Knox Bridge Highway near Canton, Cherokee Sheriff’s office spokesman Jay Baker said.
“We’ve had three separate evenings since December where we had a total of 77 cars broken into,” Baker said — Dec. 4, Jan. 18 and Feb. 17. “It seems a little bit more organized than our typical entering autos. It appears they’re passing up on other items and specifically searching for firearms.”
Baker said the thieves are passing over items such as cellphones and purses, things most entering auto suspects might take.
“Typically if it’s a teenager or something, they’ll take everything they can get,” Baker said, adding eight firearms were reported stolen from unlocked vehicles. “If your door is locked, they’re not going to break the window. They’re not trying to jimmy the door or anything. They’re just looking for unlocked cars.”
Ashley Jensen told Channel 2 Action news that she and her husband were sound asleep when thieves stole guns from her car and her husband’s truck.
“We found the holster outside. They ransacked both our vehicles,” she told the station.
Jensen said she believes her home was cased since the suspects managed to enter the vehicles and remove the weapons without being spotted by her home surveillance cameras.
“They were able to stay out of sight,” she said. “They knew just where to go.”
Local pawn shop owners say they have measures in place aimed at deterring gun thieves from turning a quick profit off stolen firearms, including fingerprinting prospective sellers and running the guns’ serial numbers through a database to determine if they’re stolen.
Anyone with information about the recent string of break-ins is asked to call detectives at 770-928-0239.
In other news:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.