Police say gun thefts on rise in northwest Las Vegas Valley

The northwest Las Vegas Valley has experienced a spike in gun thefts this year, but police aren’t sure why.

Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Sasha Larkin said the area, which leads the valley in firearms thefts, has more than 380,000 residents.

“So with that, you just get more opportunity for stolen guns,” Larkin said. (Both the northwest valley patrol area and the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police Department have experienced spikes in stolen guns this year Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Between Jan. 1 and July 18, 288 guns were stolen in Metro’s northwest patrol zone, according to the department. That’s a jump of more than 30 percent from the same time last year, when 218 guns were stolen.

Metro has experienced an increase in stolen guns department-wide. From the beginning of the year to July 30, 1,400 guns were stolen throughout the valley. During the same time last year, 1,108 guns were stolen.

Larkin, who heads the Northwest Area Command, said she can’t pinpoint a reason for the increase in stolen guns, but she suspects unsecured firearms, new homes in a growing economy and word of mouth among thieves may contribute to more guns getting swiped.

Most home burglaries happen during the day while people are at work, she said, and many of the northwest’s stolen guns come from cars.

“There’s absolutely no reason to leave a firearm in a vehicle,” she said. “None. Zero. It’s not going to protect your car when you’re not in it.”

In nearly 40 percent of home burglaries this year, no force was used when the burglar entered, meaning criminals are walking around neighborhoods and opening unlocked doors.

Las Vegas City Councilman and former Metro Capt. Stavros Anthony, who represents Ward 4 in the northwest valley, said the department is doing the best it can to fight gun theft with the resources it has.

“They know this is a serious, for someone to steal a weapon, because most likely that person is not allowed to have a weapon,” he said.

What police are doing

Larkin knew from the week she took over as captain for the northwest last summer that the area had issues with stolen guns. Last year, 461 guns were stolen within her command area.

She said her staff aggressively uses social media to send safety messages, and part of that effort is a monthly YouTube video.

“And just about every month I’m talking to them about locking up their guns,” she said.

Larkin said it’s important for people to document the type of gun they own, along with its caliber and serial number. Investigators will take that information and check it against pawn shops and online databases if a resident is a victim of a burglary.

If a neighborhood is experiencing issues, police can send crime prevention specialist Randy Klenosky to examine the area and identify any weak spots in security.

Klenosky said part of his job is to encourage social interaction between neighbors.

“Neighbors are less likely to look out for each other if they don’t know each other,” he said.

Steps for security

Larkin said gun owners should determine their security needs before purchasing a safe. The needs of a hunter with a long gun will be different from an owner who wants quick access to a handgun in the middle of the night.

“Go to a couple different safe companies and find one that meets both your financial and family needs, as far as size, price and accessibility,” she said.

Larkin urged gun owners to lock up their firearms when they leave their home, and to have a plan in place in case someone breaks into their home.

“These are things we need people to think all the way through,” she said.

Having a camera outside your home can help police track down criminals if a crime does occur in the area, Larkin said.

“The most important thing we can do is be educated and make ourselves the least appealing victim or target possible,” she said.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

Poet’s Walk Henderson introduces storytelling
Residents enjoy a storytelling activity.
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
3-year-old boy shot in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas Police Officer Aaron Patty talks about an accidental shooting that left a 3-year-old boy “fighting for his life” on Nov. 10, 2018.
Senior Citizen Carjacking Attack -- 3 Suspects Sought
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police detectives are seeking the public's assistance in identifying the three attackers who carjacked and beat a 78-year-old man near Fremont and east Charleston on Tuesday. (LVMPD)
Henderson Police Department Chief Latesha Watson Talks Change
11-year-old girl shot, killed in North Las Vegas
An 11-year-old girl is dead after she was struck by gunfire Thursday night during a shooting in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas police on deadly shooting
North Las Vegas police spokesman Eric Leavitt briefs the media about a shooting that left an 11-year-old girl dead on Nov. 1, 2018. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stephan Bonnar DUI Arrest
Stephan Bonnar arrested for DUI in Nevada.
Family members of murder victims talk about their loss
Family members of murder victims talk about their loss. Susan Nash, 52, was killed in a shooting along with her daughter and one of her three sons on Sunday night. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Sayegh Cold Case Turns 40
Cary Sayegh was abducted from the playground of the Albert Einstein Hebrew Day School in Las Vegas in 1978. His body has never been found. (File Photo)
Review held in death of man after encounter with Las Vegas police
The mother of Tashii Brown, who died after an encounter with Las Vegas police on the Strip, not satisfied after public review of evidence. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vehicle of Interest in January Homicide
Las Vegas police released footage Friday of a “vehicle of interest” from a deadly shooting in January. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Hostage escapes clutches of robber before shooting
Metropolitan Police Department footage shows a man wearing a motorcycle helmet, identified by police as 27-year-old Mario B. Trejo, with one arm wrapped around a woman’s neck and held a handgun to her head.
Sunset Park Vigil
A small group of people gathered in Sunset Park to remember the three children recently killed in the area.
Henderson police bodycam footage of officer-involved shooting
Henderson police released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in a grocery store parking lot at 2667 Windmill Parkway on Aug. 12, 2018. (Henderson Police Department)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like