After 53 guns stolen from 2 homes, RCMP ask people to review firearm storage
Theft of 12 handguns and another of 41 long guns reported on Monday
RCMP want gun owners to review how their firearms are locked and stored after more than four dozen firearms were stolen from just two Manitoba homes.
A dozen handguns were stolen from a home in the rural municipality of Springfield early Monday morning, police said.
The thieves made their way in through the home's garage around 3 a.m., then broke into a locked gun safe and stole the firearms, RCMP said in a news release.
Officers tried to track the thieves in the rural area just east of Winnipeg but were unsuccessful.
At around 10 a.m. the same day, 41 long guns were reported stolen from a home in Souris, Man., about 225 kilometres west of Winnipeg. Police said the guns were taken sometime in the last month.
Police don't believe the two thefts are related, but worry about where the 53 guns will end up.
"That is one of our biggest concerns," said Const. Julie Courchaine. "We take these types of investigations extremely seriously.
"Obviously these individuals can't obtain them lawfully so they are getting them illegally, so that is concerning."
In two other thefts in Manitoba at the end of November, 35 handguns were stolen from a store in Winkler, Man., and a gun safe with an assortment of firearms was taken from a home in Brandon.
Courchaine said homeowners should review where and how they store firearms.
"We just want people to take the time now to look around and [see] how are they storing their firearms and where are they and take note of that," she said. "Trigger locks on everything. Gun cabinets that are locked in a secure area where it's hard to break into."
Courchaine said the way the firearms were stored in the two most recent incidents — the handguns stolen from the Springfield home were in a locked gun safe — will form part of the investigation, as will whether the homes were targeted.
Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to contact Oakbank RCMP at 204-444-3847 or Souris RCMP at 483-2854, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or submit a secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.