CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) – In the first month of 2022, the Chatham County police department has seen an uptick in entering autos. There are about a dozen more compared to January 2021.

However, police chief Jeff Hadley is more concerned about what’s being taken from these vehicles.

“”Our main concern is the amount of firearms that are stolen from unlocked vehicles,” said Hadley. “This is probably my fourth or fifth interview relative to this dynamic that happens in our community.”

In the past two weeks several firearms have been stolen from vehicles . Last year alone, Chatham County saw 73 firearms stolen from vehicles and there’s a recurring factor for why that is.

“93 percent of those were from unlocked vehicles,” said Hadley. “By and large we know that those who are going to go out and commit larceny from a vehicle…they are just trying door handles. I mean they aren’t breaking windows…that happens fairly rarely.”

 Along with your firearm ending up in the wrong hands; there could be serious consequences for the firearm owner.

News 3 spoke with Thunderbolt Guns owner, Dick Berman who says legal action can be taken.

“”And in some states you may be sued civilly for negligently allowing your firearm to fall in the hands of a criminal,” said Berman.

The department wants to remind all to lock their vehicles so belongings do not get stolen and to especially not leave a firearm in your vehicle.