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Beloit police urge gun owners to secure weapons

Published On: Mar 27 2013 09:05:29 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 27 2013 09:34:03 PM CDT
BELOIT, Wis. -

Police in Beloit are looking for help locating five guns stolen from a west side home earlier this month.

Police and gun enthusiasts said they want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

People at the Beloit Rifle Club said they were upset to hear about the burglary.

"Every gun that gets into the hands of the wrong people is a reflection on all the honest gun owners," said gun owner Dennis Hollenbeck.

Beloit police said the weapon's owner didn't have the serial numbers.

"The vast majority of gun owners know their serial numbers and can identify the gun," said gun owner Stewart Davies.

Police Chief Norm Jacobs said about $5,000 worth of property, including three long guns and two handguns, were taken from a home on the 1500 block of Cleveland Street.

"If the owner has the serial number, we can enter it into a national database so if that weapon is found anywhere in the United States, it can be located back. If it was taken from Beloit, and it can be located back here," Jacobs said.

Jacobs said sometimes criminals target a home looking for weapons and sometimes they're an afterthought.

"In this case, it appears the burglars happened to come across the weapons, because a number of things were stolen from weapons to ammunition, to clothing to electronics," Jacobs said.

The chief also recommends gun owners take digital pictures and write descriptions of their weapons.

Longtime gun owners said people can't be too careful when handling weapons.

"Most responsible gun owners have a record of their guns for insurance purposes because they are valuable," Davies said.

Jacobs said the stolen guns are usually don't get very far. He said most are recovered between Madison and Chicago.

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