WILMINGTON, N.C. — A frustrated police chief in North Carolina has a message for gun owners: Stop leaving your weapons in unlocked vehicles.

Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous held a news conference Friday to tell gun owners their carelessness is aiding local crime. He says more than 30 guns have been stolen this year from vehicles left unlocked overnight, which means they’re “now in the hands of criminals.”

He pleaded with gun owners to “be responsible” and at least “take your guns in your house.”

Wilmington police responded to 70 car break-ins in just the last two weeks. Home security cameras have videotaped several men carrying backpacks and riding bicycles.

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