TULSA, Okla. - Quick facts:
- So far, 54 of the year's homicides have been committed with guns.
- There has been a recent spike in gun thefts in the city.
- FOX23 talked to police about whether the guns used in the high number of homicides were stolen.
Recent gun thefts in Tulsa have many wondering whether those gun thefts could affect the high homicide rate across the city.
Out of the 74 homicides committed so far this year in Tulsa, 54 of them involved a gun.
Homicide Sergeant Dave Walker said investigators don’t recover the gun in many cases, but new technology could make it easier to track in the future.
“It’s safe to say a lot of these guns are ill-gotten and ill-used,” Walker said.
Walker said investigators have recovered three stolen guns from homicide suspects or at the scenes of homicides in 2017, but he says that, based on previous criminal records, many of the suspects arrested this year were not allowed to be in possession of a gun in the first place.
“I would say roughly 30 of those fall in that category, where if we found that gun, we would eventually find out it was stolen,” Walker said. “Whether it was reported or not is another thing.”
FOX23 looked at the criminal histories of those accused of killing someone with a gun in Tulsa this year. We found that at least 20 of the suspects were previous felons or teens that were not allowed to be in possession of a gun in the first place.
When we asked Walker about a recent spike in high-volume gun thefts, he said that those involved could have some involvement in other crimes.
“Well, thieves will sell [the stolen guns] to thieves, who can turn into murderers when they get caught,” Walker said.
He said that though it is hard to track stolen guns now, it could become easier in the near future, as shell casings may be tracked by individual guns rather than through serial numbers.
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