WICHITA, Kan., - Wichita Police, concerned with the number of firearms taken during home burglaries recently, are urging gun owners to take extra care to protect their property.
Firearms, because of their value, are the most common items stolen in home burglaries, police say. Law enforcement and a west Wichita gun shop owner says some gun owners could do more to protect these high-dollar items.
"They're valuable, they're desirable and they're portable," Marlon Knapp, owner of Knapp Weaponry said. "(Those are) things that thieves look for."
Knapp said gun owners should not make the job easy for thieves. A few common sense, easy steps prevent that, he said.
"First, lock your house," Knapp said. "Two, get an alarm system. Three, get a safe and use it. Put your guns in the safe; lock the safe."
Gun owners should also never advertise that they have guns in their homes, Knapp said.
"No gun stickers on your house," he said. "No signs out in the front yard (that say), 'Nothing inside worth dying for,' with bullet holes in it. Don't make yourself a target."
Wichita Police Department spokesman, Lt. Doug Nolte, said stolen guns can fetch major bucks on the black market when they are sold to convicts, who cannot pass background checks.
"Obviously, when there's guns out on the streets that are illegally out there, that makes it difficult for law enforcement," he said. "It makes concern in the community."
Nolte said locking guns up at home is the best way to alleviate that concern. Knapp said having a safe makes a huge difference.
"At 350 to 1,000 pounds, it's going to take two men and a small boy to move it," he said. "And if it's anchored, they're not going to get it out without a forklift."
Any type of gun safe, Knapp said, is worth the investment.
"You're going to spend less on a gun safe than you will on one good firearm," he said.