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More guns are being stolen out of cars in alarming trend across the nation

More guns are being stolen out of vehicles in many U.S. cities, according to a new data analysis, which was first obtained and independently verified by NBC News. It’s an alarming trend as shootings rise nationwide, propelled in large part by firearms obtained illegally.

From 2019 to 2020, at least 180 cities saw a rise in gun thefts from vehicles, which now makes up the largest source of stolen guns, according to the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety. The study analyzed FBI crime data from 2011 to 2020, spanning up to 271 small-to-large cities across 38 states.
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The nonprofit, which advocates gun violence prevention, found that in 2020, an estimated 77,000 guns were reported stolen in these 271 cities alone. Of those, more than half were taken out of vehicles — a stark difference from a decade ago, when the majority of gun thefts were from burglaries and less than a quarter were from cars, according to Everytown.

On Aug. 3, 2021, Caroline Schollaert was inside her Jacksonville, Florida, home when she witnessed a man breaking into her car.

Known by many for her fearless disposition, Schollaert, an off-duty U.S. Coast Guard member, reported the burglary by phone to the local sheriff’s office, then walked outside and confronted the man at gunpoint herself.

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