Arrests of felons possessing firearms doubled in Pueblo during 2021
Pueblo, Colo. (KKTV) - In 2021 the Pueblo Police Department arrested 105 people for the crime of possession of a weapon by a previous offender (POWPO).
That is more than double the 57 arrests Pueblo Police made for the same crime in 2020.
Police say that during the Covid pandemic many criminals have been able to bail out of jail to avoid overcrowding, and these criminals have been able to steal weapons from vehicles and homes.
Last year Pueblo Police responded to 168 calls of weapons being stolen from vehicles and 421 total guns were stolen from vehicles, almost three guns per reported theft.
Police say these stolen guns can be used to commit other crimes in the community.
Pueblo Police Chief Chris Noeller addressed this issue at the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce last week saying “If you leave a gun in your car it is going to get stolen. I ask you to take those guns off the street because when they get stolen they are used to commit other crimes.”
Total crime did appear to rise last year as gun thefts increased. Homicides more than tripled. Growing from nine in 2020 to 29 last year.
“We talk about a lot of the factors that lead to increased crime, the availability of guns on the street is one of those factors and its something that we as a community can do a better job of trying to prevent by taking your guns back into your house, by not leaving them in your car when you go into a business.” added Noeller.
Police also urge gun owners to keep track of the serial numbers attached to firearms in case they are lost or stolen.
Sgt. Frank Ortega with the Pueblo Police Department told me “It makes the criminals life a lot easier to commit additional criminal activity with those stolen guns. Like I say most of the time we know they are stolen but we can’t prove it because we don’t have somebody saying that this gun (with) this serial number was stolen from my house, or this gun (with) this serial number was stolen from my vehicle.”
In total Pueblo Police seized 663 Illegal guns last year. 436 of those guns were used to commit a crime.
In Colorado you can be fined if you fail to report a stolen weapon within five days of the theft.
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