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After Recent Gun Thefts, Police Urge To Lock Up Cars, 'Double Check'

Robert Nelson

Jacksonville police are urging people to keep their cars locked after eight guns were stolen out of unlocked cars on the city’s Southside over the July Fourth weekend.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda says the eight guns were stolen from six unlocked, parked vehicles in a single patrol zone.

Bujeda said, “Sometimes people feel comfortable where they live. They think, ‘It won’t happen to me.’ They get distracted in the evening when they’re going in. They have kids. They’re making dinner. They think they’ll go back and get it later.”

“They think they’ll go back and lock their doors. And sometimes they think they locked their doors. And we’re just asking everybody, double check,” she said.

The eight guns were stolen in Zone 3. That’s the area east of the St. Johns River and southeast of downtown, all the way to the southern and eastern Duval County lines.

Bujeda says police have seen an uptick in gun thefts from cars since April. The vast majority of them are from unlocked cars.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP