Thursday, October 02, 2014

Sheriff urges vigilance after gun theft reports

By DYLAN LYSEN, Herald Staff Writer | 7/30/2014

With three recent reports of stolen firearms in rural Franklin County still under investigation, Jeff Richards said residents need to look out for each other.

“Neighbors need to be watching out for neighbors,” Richards, Franklin County sheriff, said. “If you’re going to be gone for the weekend, let a neighbor know.”

With three recent reports of stolen firearms in rural Franklin County still under investigation, Jeff Richards said residents need to look out for each other.

“Neighbors need to be watching out for neighbors,” Richards, Franklin County sheriff, said. “If you’re going to be gone for the weekend, let a neighbor know.”

The sheriff’s office is investigating a burglary and theft between 7 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the 2000 Block of Indiana Road. Among the lengthy list of items taken were shotguns, rifles and shooting gear.

Crime Stoppers listed the burglary as its crime of the week, and it’s the third straight week a case involving stolen firearms in Franklin County has been highlighted by the community crime prevention group.

The sheriff’s office is investigating other crimes that might be related to the stolen firearms, Richards said, but could not give much detail because the cases are still pending.

Despite the recent emphasis on the incidents in the Crime Stoppers alerts, Richards said he doesn’t think there has been an uptick in gun thefts, just that information about the crimes has been more easily accessible to the public.

“I don’t know if we’re really having any more [thefts] than normal, but I think we’re doing a better job of getting it out to the public so everyone knows what’s going on,” Richards said.

In cases where guns are stolen, Richards said, the best action for victims is to provide serial numbers of each firearm to law enforcement because it makes the crimes much easier to investigate.

Tipsters may call Franklin County Crime Stoppers at (888) 311-TIPS or (888) 311-8477, submit a tip through Franklin County Crime Stopper’s Facebook account, text tip to 274637 (begin text with keyword “Franklin”), or online at www.tipsoft.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Franklin County Crime Stoppers will pay as much as $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of any person or persons committing a crime in Franklin County.

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