NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It took nearly 12 hours for Metro Nashville Police to respond after a gun was stolen from his car, now one Army veteran says he’s concerned it’s no longer a priority.
36 years in his Antioch neighborhood and Kamal Muhammad says he’s ready to give up his home. The problem isn’t the house, he says it’s the people who can’t seem to leave his property alone.
“I’m ready to get out of here,” Muhammad said.
Muhammad returned from a trip Tuesday night to find the door to his car open and his pistol missing. He says thieves also took a motorcycle helmet, new sneakers, a couple of cellphones, and CD players in the trunk. Five calls to dispatch and nearly 12 hours later, an officer finally arrived.
“I gave a report and said, don’t you want to look in the car? They said no, just give me your license. That was it,” Muhammad said.
Therein lies the problem for Muhammad. This was the second time someone stole his guns. The last time was from inside his house back in 2003. Muhammad gave officers an idea of who the suspect was but says weeks later and someone used the gun in a crime.
"Whenever there's a gun involved, it should be taken more seriously. These young boys running around here with these guns, you see how they're shooting each other like crazy," Muhammad said.
Muhammad has since bought a security system for his home but says he’s ready to move on. He’s purchased a property in Cunningham, Tennessee, and plans to build a new home where he can rest easy knowing his belongings are safe. Most of his neighbors have already moved after multiple thefts. Muhammad says he plans to keep his gun with him and not unattended in his car, but can't help thinking he's blamed for what happened.
"I'm doing all I can. I keep my house locked. I keep my car locked. I have a permit. I've got guns stored, but when something like that happens and someone intrudes in your home, what can you do," Muhammad said.
Metro Nashville Police tell us that because this was not an active scene and officers were busy at the time, they responded as soon as they could. They also tell us the report states the car was unlocked.
Either way, they stress that they take the matter seriously and one sign is the “Park Smart” initiative that’s been around since 2000. They hang flyers all around Metro Nashville knowing every stolen gun is another crime waiting to happen.
So far in 2021, that number is up to 691 according to Metro Nashville Police. That means about 60 percent of all guns stolen in Metro this year have been from vehicles. In 2020, there were 969 guns stolen from vehicles.
Park Smart emphasizes locking your doors, securing your valuables, and taking your keys with you. They say these simple actions go a long way in keeping stolen guns off the streets. 68 percent of the vehicles taken were easy targets because keys were left inside or made easily available. Seven of the 77 vehicles stolen were left running without the driver around.