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Gun thefts on the rise throughout city of Grand Rapids, police say

Police say the stolen guns are then used in violent crimes throughout the city.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Police Department is seeing an increase in violent crimes and a big cause of those crimes is stolen guns.

They say the city is on pace to exceed last year for the amount of firearms stolen, as well as illegal firearms taken off the streets.

From January to August of this year, GRPD says 165 firearms were stolen. That's a 36-percent increase compared to the same time period last year when 121 firearms were stolen. 

Police believe the guns are being stolen because of irresponsible gun ownership.

"[They're stolen] out of residences, but a lot of times out of vehicles," said Sgt. Dan Adams, a spokesperson for the department. "It's happening way, way too often and especially for something that's easily avoidable."

Guns are being taken from unlocked vehicles in driveways, restaurants and convenience stores. Police say the stolen guns are then used in violent crimes throughout the city.

"So far the homicide numbers are down which is good, but we're seeing an increase in attempted murder, assault with firearms, assault with firearms with injuries," Adams said. "Shootings are up, which again very concerning considering the number of guns we're seeing out in the community."

The latest data from early August shows 457 illegal guns were recovered in the city. That's catching up to 491 seized in all of 2020. 

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