CHARLOTTE, N.C. – There’s a new warning about a common theft that could be putting all of us in danger.

On Wednesday, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department released staggering new numbers about guns stolen from vehicles. This year, there are already more than 360 guns stolen.

Police are now pushing for common sense among gun owners, which means properly storing their weapons in the car. Now, NBC Charlotte is learning how you can also make your car less of a target.

“It’s very difficult for us to try to legislate good common sense,” says Captain Brian Foley with CMPD.

Unfortunately, staggering new numbers show there’s still work to do on that front; more than 1,700 guns stolen from vehicles since 2014.

“More than 360 have been stolen from vehicles this year alone,” says Captain Foley.

It’s not just cars being targeted. Earlier this year, several pawn shops had guns stolen in Gaston County, assault rifles were taken from a Gander Mountain, and thousands of dollars’ worth of guns were stolen from Cabela’s in Fort Mill.

“As a law-abiding gun owner myself, I don't really like seeing people cut corners,” said a Cabela’s customer.
Now, CMPD is launching a new gun safety campaign. They’re offering safes to store guns in the car.

The first 100 safes will be free and then the rest will be available at a discounted rate.

Gun experts say you can also make your car less of a target.

“Never Identify your vehicle. No NRA stickers, no second amendment stickers. That tells the criminals what you've got onboard,” says Dan Stark, a gun safety expert.

By using commons sense, police say you might help prevent the next violent crime.

“We’ve seen those weapons used in armed robberies and in the commission of assault with deadly weapons,” says Captain Foley.