SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY TV) - Over the weekend Sioux Falls police say six handguns were stolen out of unlocked vehicles.
“We’ve got six guns and a whole lot of ammunition that are floating around out there now and we don't know who has it or what they could do with it,” Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens said. “It’s kind of a scary thought to think where these guns may end up and what they could be used for.
This weekend's gun thefts are not a unique situation. Last year 154 guns were stolen in Sioux Falls, down from 180 in 2015.
Gun safety instructors in Sioux Falls said one of a gun owner’s top priorities should be keeping control of their weapon at all times.
“You're responsible for your firearm at all times, whether it’s on your person or in your car; if you're carrying a firearm it really is your responsibility no matter what to make sure you maintain control of that firearm at all costs,” Quik Response Training Institute Owner/Instructor Kevin Jensen said.
“I spend about 20 minutes of my class actually discussing with people how to safely conceal a firearm in your car and make sure they keep it locked up at all times,” Jensen said.
Jensen says it is very common for concealed carry holders to leave their weapon inside their vehicles. A survey of his 500 students revealed roughly 80 percent planned to only carry a concealed weapon inside their vehicle, but even those who do carry concealed on their person will have to leave their weapon in the car in some situations.
There are several measures gun owners can take to prevent gun thefts, even in their vehicles - such as a lockable case that can be secured to a vehicle.
And always remember the most basic line of defense: simply locking your vehicle.
“Really if your door is unlocked, literally it takes just seconds to get in and out,” Jensen said.