The barrel of a rifle. Gun generic. Picture: Im Yeongsik/iStock
The barrel of a rifle. Gun generic. Picture: Im Yeongsik/iStock

POLICE WARN: Rural shooters a prime target for gun theft

A SPATE of gun thefts has southwest police on alert, and they have urged all owners to stay vigilant for would-be thieves.

Rural properties are being targeted for their weapons, with criminals looking to sell them on the black market, Southern Regional Crime Coordinator, Detective Acting Superintendent Mat Kelly said.

"Unfortunately, criminals continue to target rural properties to steal weapons for the black market," Detective Acting Superintendent Kelly said.

"We receive regular intelligence suggesting organised crime syndicates are coming into our rural communities to steal firearms."

While police are always on the lookout for firearm thieves, Superintendent Kelly said all owners need to do their part too.

"The recent increase in thefts have mainly been from firearms left unsecured in vehicles or storage sheds," he said.

"We would like to remind licences firearm holders they have a responsibility under the Weapons Act to store weapons correctly, those who do not can expect prosecution."

Police will continue to conduct spot-checks across the southwest and Darling Downs regions to ensure owners are compliant.