WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – The number of stolen guns in Wilmington and New Hanover county increased about 40 percent during the past five years.

The StarNews of Wilmington reports (http://bit.ly/1QX2jzv) more than 1,400 guns were stolen in the city and the county during the period with more than 280 stolen last year alone.

Authorities say only about 25 percent of the guns stolen since 2010 have been recovered.

Wilmington Police Capt. Jim Varrone estimates that at least 90 percent of the violent crime cases he investigates involve a stolen gun.

Sheriff’s Lt. Jerry Brewer says the increase in stolen guns parallels an increase in gun sales. He says an increase in sales means more guns being stolen from unlocked vehicles.


Information from: The StarNews, http://starnewsonline.com