It’s a crime Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister says “could have been easily prevented.”

What You Need To Know

  • Two juveniles stole two guns on Monday from cars in Hillsborough County.

  • Sheriff Chronister says it's part of a larger public safety issue.

  • 207 guns have been stolen in 2020 from vehicles in the county.

  • That's 18.3 percent more than last year.

Two teenagers allegedly pulling on door handles early Monday morning in the Tanglewood Preserve Development stumbled across several unlocked cars. Deputies say they stole cash, an iPad, and two guns.

"We now have two firearms in the hands of young people who may sell the stolen guns or use them to commit a crime," Chronister said in a news release.

But the problem is much larger than that.

So far this year, thieves have taken a total of 207 firearms from cars and trucks in Hillsborough County, according to HCSO.

The sheriff’s office says that number is up 18.3 percent over the same period of time in 2019.

“I am urging gun owners to remove firearms from their vehicles and secure them properly overnight or whenever the car is not in use,” Chronister said. “This simple step is critical to put a stop to this all too common crime that puts our community's safety at risk."

Anyone with information about the crime on Monday, October 12 at the Tanglewood Perserve Development should contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.

Two juveniles allegedly caught on surveillance video stealing valuables from cars in the Tanglewood Preserve Development on October 12, 2020 (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)