Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt taken from today’s Morning Brew newsletter. Sign up to have Morning Brew delivered to your in-box.

Firearms in Charlotte are being stolen from cars at a “concerning” rate, says the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

As of Sept. 4, CMPD had tallied 516 guns reported stolen this year during car break-ins — a nearly 20% increase from the 435 guns reported stolen from cars a year earlier.

Not only are guns being stolen, some have been used to commit violent crimes.

“The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department recognizes the constitutional right to keep and bear arms and encourages those who exercise that right to also take every measure in ensuring all firearms are properly secured,” the department said in a statement.

Among those safety measures:

  • Lock your vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit, high-populated areas.
  • Don’t leave anything valuable in your vehicle.
  • Keep phone chargers, mounts, etc., out of view.
  • Record and retain serial numbers of guns you legally own.
  • If you must store your gun in a car, buy a lockbox and secure it to the inside of the vehicle, out of site.

The kicker: At least 232 guns were stolen from unlocked vehicles this year, according to CMPD.

Click here to read the rest of today’s Morning Brew.

Founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, Glenn has worked at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer.