State police recovered 102 stole guns in 2010

The New York State Police Troop "B" Gun Investigation Unit announced late last week that it recovered 102 stolen guns in northern New York in 2010.

Troop "B" includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, St. Lawrence and northern Hamilton counties.

The guns were recovered following reports of thefts to law enforcement agencies within Troop "B".

The majority of the guns were stolen from private residences during the summer and fall months, with a small quantity stolen from motor vehicles during hunting season.

Although the total remains high, the amount of guns stolen in 2010 actually decreased slightly from 2009, when 117 guns were reported stolen.

Records indicate that Franklin and Clinton counties experienced a significant decrease in the total amount of guns stolen last year, while St. Lawrence County saw an increase and led the North Country with 63 guns reported stolen.

Those totals are attributed to three individual residential burglaries in which a total of 36 guns were reported stolen. Through a combined effort, the New York State Police and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Department were able to make arrests in connection with the three burglaries - eventually recovering 31 of the stolen guns.

Police say that despite the decline in stolen guns last year, they are still concerned about the inaccurate descriptions and lack of serial numbers for most long guns reported stolen.

"The theft of firearms is a significant concern for law enforcement and for the general public," officials said in a prepared statement. "Gun owners are encouraged to protect their gun collections and to maintain an accurate and reliable inventory of their firearms."

That includes recording the make, model, caliber and serial number of every gun in their possession and immediately providing the information to police should any gun be lost or stolen.

Police also recommend that gun owners create an inventory and store it in a secure location, separate from the firearms.

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