Crime Tracker: Stolen guns in Kennewick

Crime Tracker: Stolen guns in Kennewick »Play Video
KENNEWICK, Wash. - Guns and violent crimes have always been a challenge for Kennewick Police. Robberies, shootings in broad daylight, criminals often try to battle for control of the streets.

Neighbor Zach Beach said, "I've seen a lot of crime and violence."

He lives in downtown Kennewick. The father of three is always keeping his eyes peeled for bad guys. Trying to keep his kids safe.

"There's been shootings and a lot of crime over here. I see the cops up and down 3rd street a lot over here," he said.

Kennewick police find they're battling more crimes involving guns.

In all of last year there were only seven incidents reported about guns stolen from cars. Nine guns were taken in all. By the end of October this year, there had already been six-cases where guns were stolen from cars. Most cars were unlocked.

Most of the break-ins happened near downtown Kennewick. Despite patrols, KPD has seen more crime in the city than in years past. Without residents protecting themselves by locking doors, it may be an endless battle.

If thieves aren't using these weapons to commit violent crimes, they're selling them off to bankroll further criminal activity.

Sgt. Ken Latin, Kennewick Police, said, "There's a whole trade, under ground trade of weapons out there on the streets along with the narcotics. Narcotics and weapons go hand in hand."

Doubling the work load for detectives and the Metro Drug Task Force.

Zach and his neighbors have taken a proactive stand against crime.

"We watch the block real close, everybody on this block really watches the block and if they see anything out of the ordinary they'll call the cops and report it," he said.

Not waiting to be a victim themselves.

Kennewick Police tell KEPR that owners of stolen weapons rarely get them back. They don't keep records of their serial numbers.

Police do check pawn shops for stolen guns, but often come up empty because of a lack of information by the original gun owner.