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Casper Police Launch Lock it Up Campaign to Decrease Stolen Firearms

A gun and police tape.
A gun and police tape.(AP GraphicsBank)
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 12:04 AM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) – The Casper Police Department is launching a public awareness ‘Lock it Up’ campaign to encourage citizens to lock up their homes, cars, and firearms.

Over the last ten years, local data reflects January as the top month for gun thefts. This two-month campaign, leading into January, will feature a daily social media posting reminding citizens to secure their homes, cars, and firearms.

“While the campaign encourages citizens to lock their residences, vehicles, and firearms – and that will inevitably increase overall safety – we hope to see one very direct outcome from this effort…a decrease in stolen firearms,” said Casper Police Investigative Services Lieutenant Ben Mattila. “The number of firearms stolen within Casper has risen by nearly 70 percent over the last two years. Our investigations into these crimes reveal one strong link – criminals are looking for opportunity, and most times that means an unlocked vehicle. We hope by diligently bringing this issue to the forefront on a daily basis we can influence individual behavior, and as a result, create a safer community.”

Firearms that are stolen within our community are primarily done so through crimes of opportunity such as unlocked vehicles and sometimes unlocked homes. When a firearm is stolen, it is extremely difficult for law enforcement to recover.

Between 2010 and 2020, 1,181 guns were stolen in Casper. From that, twenty percent (298) were recovered by law enforcement through other crime prevention efforts, meaning those firearms were used in a crime committed in our community or seized as part of a search warrant linked to a crime. The majority of stolen firearms are not recovered and continue to circulate and be used for criminal purposes both in and outside of Casper.

The Casper Police Department remains vigilant in our efforts to get stolen firearms out of our community and hold those responsible accountable for their criminal actions. We all have a role to play in protecting our firearms from getting into the hands of criminals. The best way to do that is by locking your home, locking your car, and always safely securing your firearm – every day.

The Casper Police Department is dedicated to the protection and safety of our community through the highest standards of professionalism in police services.

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