Law enforcement officials in Licking County are warning of gun thefts as a result of home break-ins.
The Newark Police Department said the stolen guns are not being used to commit other crimes. Like anything else of value that might be taken from a home, they are being stolen to be re-sold.
Authorities said many times, the criminal is trying to get money for drugs.
Police said that 17 firearms have been reported stolen since Jan. 1. There were 56 guns stolen in Newark city limits in all of 2012.
The Licking County Sheriff's Office has tracked 42 gun thefts in the first three months this year.
According to officials, the hard part about solving these crimes is that there is no trend, or pattern, or part of the county consistent with the guns being taken.
Sheriff's deputies are using saturation patrols to combat the crimes, and they have made more than a dozen arrests so far this year. That's a higher amount than usual, authorities said.
There is also a spike in awareness as Neighborhood Watch Patrols in Licking County are headed toward double digits numbers.
Newark Police have a common sense warning for lawful gun owners: thieves go straight for your bedside table looking for a handgun or the closet looking for a shotgun.
Authorities suggest finding other locations to store your guns.
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