ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Atlanta police officers are issuing an urgent warning to gun owners.

According to a police spokesperson, since the start of the year, there have been 829 guns stolen out of vehicles in the City of Atlanta.

Police said there is an easy way to make sure a criminals do not end up with your gun and that is by not leaving it in your vehicle.

"If your firearm absolutely has to be in your vehicle, you'll want to invest in a lockbox, or a safe and tie it to the trunk. Do not leave a firearm in your vehicle. Ultimately, with the increase that we've seen this year, it's a problem that we're trying to deal with and we're being adamant about reducing that," said APD Officer Anthony Grant.

He said that essentially, they would have to pull the entire lockbox off of the trunk if it's secured properly.

"It takes a lot of effort to try and do that. Not to say that they won't but it'll be a lot harder than just unlocking the door or smashing a window and reaching into glovebox, or under the seat and taking a firearm," said Grant.

The department reported that in 2019, 988 guns were stolen out of cars, and that increased to 1,053 in 2020.

External factors like population increases or increase in gun ownership are not reflected in these base numbers. 

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