• West Memphis trying to prevent gun thefts from vehicles

    By: Siobhan Riley


    WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. - West Memphis police said 61 percent of the car break-ins from last year stemmed from unlocked vehicles.   

    They said a lot of times when teens get guns, they’re getting them from unlocked vehicles. 

    Police said thieves will walk down a street, pull on a car door just to see if it’s unlocked, then take items.

    FOX13 spoke with Ashley Snyder in Worthington Park, where she takes her 4-year-old daughter to play. 

    Police said it’s close to the area where a rash of items were stolen from cars. Police said they caught teens in the act who confessed to dozens of thefts.

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    “They can just grab any door handle they want,” said Snyder.

    West Memphis Assistant Police Chief Robert Langston said last year there were 278 car break-ins.  

    He said a lot of times when teens get guns they’re getting them from unlocked vehicles. 

    “They’re looking for laptops, they’re looking for tablets and guns, that’s where they get most of their guns,” he said.

    That’s one of the reasons behind the department’s 9 p.m. routine program. Langston wants people to be vigilant.  

    “Tell people to turn on their lights, turn on their porch lights where it projects light into their yard, go to your car, take your valuables out,” he said.

    Snyder is participating in the program.

    “As a mother, I say to keep your kids with you and make sure your own stuff is locked up and teach your kids about violence,” she said. 

    “We pushed it out on Facebook, we pushed it out on Instagram, Twitter, we do it every night around 8 (p.m.) and we found that out of Pasco County, Florida, they reported they were having the same kind of issues,” Langston stated.

    Pasco County’s crime went down 30 percent when they did this.

    West Memphis Police started this practice Feb. 1.

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