TEMPLE, Texas — Gun violence has been increasing across Central Texas.
Police are working hard to put an end to it and they are now looking to the public to help by securing their firearms.
"Help us help you and keep those firearms secured," Temple PD's Lt. Brian Moody said.
Lt. Moody said stolen firearms are not a new crime for the temple police department.
"It's a challenging time for us here," he said. "We've dedicated a lot of resources to solving this problem and we have many active investigations going at this time."
The department has been able to cut the number of guns stolen nearly in half from last year. Only nine have been reported missing since January, there were 17 during the same time period in 2021.
While the numbers are dropping in Temple, Waco PD recently told 25 News gun thefts are increasing for them. They're asking gun owners to be more vigilant when it comes to storing their firearms.
"It's a simple thing of people just leaving their gun in the car, the car's unlocked or even if the gun is hidden and you leave the car unlocked, criminals are going to find it," Waco PD's Cierra Shipley said.
"The best place for your firearm is to take it out of your vehicle and secure it in your home, preferably in a lock box," Lt. Moody added. "If that's not an option for you, secure it in your trunk or lock it in your glove box."
Police said it's also really important for people to have the serial numbers for all of their guns and then report that number immediately if one is stolen.
"If a law enforcement entity at another jurisdiction or here in Temple happens to stop an individual and they locate a gun and we run that serial number, it'll show that gun is stolen," Lt. Moody said. "We can take custody of that gun and start an investigation into how this gun came into this person's possession."
Other agencies in Texas suggest a nightly routine to double-check your car is locked and your weapons are stored around 9 p.m. each night.