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TX – GUN CRIME – Gun owners being tracked by thieves in COVID-era spike (VIDEOS)

As the 13 Investigates crew rounded a corner recently, they came face-to-face with the end of an undercover Houston police chase. Officers had just caught two suspected gun thieves. It was the latest pair accused in a dangerous and rising trend of ‘gun juggings’ in the city. As he worked with his team, Houston Police Department Lt. Andy Granger suggested to ABC13’s Ted Oberg, “This is a story you may want to look in to.” When we did, we found a 17% increase in guns stolen from cars in Houston this year compared to last. Granger said the increase is driven, at least in part. by ‘gun juggings.’ That is when thieves watch a gun owner walk out of a range or gun store and follow them until the gun is left in a parked car. The thieves usually break a window and make off with the weapon. It’s what police say happened May 12 in northeast Houston when Michael Parker and Victor Gwinn, both 19-years-old, were arrested after a brief chase. Police said the pair stole two handguns. “It’s happening a lot more. We’ve seen gun thefts go up during the COVID (pandemic),” Granger said. He suspects it’s possibly due to a lack of other targets, as many retail locations thieves could target were closed and retail owners weren’t making large bank deposits, which have been targets of similar crimes in the past. In this case, Granger said, “(The suspects) were both documented gang members.” Police were nervous about where the guns would end up, saying “We can get these guns off the street because later they could be used in commission of violent crime.”  [full article]

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