WPD: Chief speaks frustrations after 70 car break-ins in 2 weeks


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police have a message for you, lock your car! After dozens of break-ins, more and more stolen guns are now on city streets.

No one wants guns in the hands of criminals, but Wilmington police say it’s happening more frequently. They say legal gun owners are a big part of the problem.

“Be responsible gun owners, secure your weapons.”

That’s the message of frustration from Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous.

This after WPD responded to 70 car break-ins in the last two weeks.

“Suspects are taking anything of value, including electronics, loose change, phones, tablets, computers and unfortunately guns. Lots of guns,” the chief says.

Two guns this week alone and more than thirty on the year, the Chief says. He announced all of this in a morning news conference to push gun owners to secure their weapons because many of the thefts happened from unlocked cars.

“I found out when I came down to go out the next morning and everything was laying on the seat.”

Leon Rooks had his car broken into along with several others on the southside.

That’s where WPD reports a majority of these crimes. He just had some change stolen.

“No damage was done to anybody’s cars that I am aware of, so I’m thankful for that, but I’m still not happy about it of course,” says Rooks.

WPD released video of a suspect from the recent break-ins, but believes there are two to three mid twenties white males behind the thefts.

The Chief has a clear message for the public.

“People are saying, ‘Where are the guns coming from out there?’ They’re coming from your cars, your homes. Secure your weapons.”

Rooks has one for the thieves as well.

“It’s uncalled for. It’s not needed. If you need some help come knock on my door and I’ll see what I can do.”

Wilmington police ask if you have information on the identity of this suspect please call 910-343-3609 or use TEXT-A-TIP.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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