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A Roseburg Police Department patrol car.

The Roseburg Police Department is investigating a rash of incidents where handguns have been stolen out of vehicles in the last few weeks.

Sgt. Jeff Eichenbusch said investigators don’t know why the sudden spike is happening, but most of the thefts were crimes of opportunity.

“Just in the last few weeks, we’ve had six or seven firearms stolen from cars, and most of them haven’t been locked,” Eichenbusch said. “And if the car’s unlocked, it’s a crime of opportunity for the suspect.”

The thefts have not been in any specific area of Roseburg, Eichenbusch said.

One of the firearm thefts occurred in the Spyglass area, which is more of an isolated area and not a high-traffic location. Eichenbusch said it shows that no matter where people live, their vehicles are still vulnerable if left unlocked.

To limit exposure and reduce chances of valuable merchandise being stolen out of your vehicle, Eichenbusch said, people shouldn’t leave firearms unsecured. Instead, lock them in the trunk or other locked area.

There are no suspects yet, but police have reached out to some of the neighbors to find out if there are video cameras in the areas where the crimes took place. Police are looking for any information the public might have.

“We haven’t found anything yet,” Eichenbusch said. “A lot of times (the thieves) will turn around and try to sell the guns to get some quick cash, but obviously they’re not going to be a transaction that’s going to be legal.”

Police shared six tips to help prevent vehicle break-ins on its Facebook page:

1. Lock your car everywhere, even at home.

2. Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle. If you do, hide them well or lock them in the trunk.

3. Do not leave a firearm in your vehicle.

4. Park in well-lit, high traffic areas when possible.

5. Do not leave a firearm in your vehicle.

6. Seriously, DON’T leave a firearm in your vehicle!!

If you have information on the burglaries or would like to get safety prevention information contact the Roseburg Police Department at rpdpio@cityofroseburg.org or call 541-492-6760.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Reporter

Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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