Police: 3 teenagers stole five handguns from unlocked cars

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Police in Lower Swatara Township say three 16-year-old boys are responsible for entering unlocked vehicles and stealing five handguns over the course of two days.

“This is definitely too close to home,” said Kristin Blockus, a mother of three.

She says the kids in her neighborhood were her first thought.

“All of our kids are out playing, so it's scary to know what they could encounter,” she said.

Since Wednesday, four of her neighbors have had guns stolen from their cars, five weapons stolen in total.

A 9mm and a .380 were taken from cars on Market street, a .45 and a 9mm from Hanover Street, and another 9mm was stolen from Lakeside Drive. All three streets intersect in a small residential area.

“The odds of that are just astronomical to have that many weapons taken out of cars,” said Lower Swatara Township Police Chief Richard Brandt.

The chief is right, the chances of stumbling on four unlocked cars on the same block—with guns inside of them—sounds pretty slim. In fact, these young criminals seem to have had it pretty easy.

But just a few miles south at Kinsey's Outdoors, legal gun owners weren't having as much luck.

Retailers nationwide are having a tough time keeping their shelves stocked as the demand for handguns and ammunition spikes.

“It's tough to keep it on the shelves,” said Tom Riglin, a shopper who also owns his own gun and ammo store near State College.

The short supplies comes on the heels of national regulation tightening the sales of firearms and accessories.

So while legal gun owners struggle to find what they want, police say the criminals are the ones who need to be deterred.

Remember, with ownership comes responsibility, and these cars were unlocked.

“That's the message I want to get out to my citizens and everybody in general, lock your cars please,” said the Chief.

Around 8 p.m. Friday night police recovered the last of the five stolen firearms. The three teenage suspects told police that they had searched 100 cars in total to find guns.

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