FORSYTH, Ga. — You may keep things in your car to keep you safe, like a gun. Well, what if it suddenly went missing? 

"They are shopping at night and they are shopping at your expense," says Monroe County Sheriff Brad Freeman. 

Last week, someone stole 4 guns out of cars in neighborhoods around Forsyth, like the River Walk, Oak Ridge, and Country Club Drive.

Freeman says another handful went missing this week in those same areas. There was also a car stolen with a gun inside.   

"It's obvious these people are not stealing guns to go hunting. Probably, they are a convicted felon and they cannot go buy a gun, and they are probably wanting to sell these guns to other people that cannot legally possess a firearm, so it would just make sense that they would steal a gun," says Freeman. 

All those cars were unlocked.

"If you are going to leave a gun in your car overnight, certainly you should lock your car, but if you're going to leave your car unlocked for whatever reason, then you should take any, not just a gun, but any valuables out," says Freeman. 

Before leaving a gun anywhere, Freeman says to write down the serial number on the gun and put it in a safe place.

 "We have a long reach when we have the proper information," says Freeman. 

Officers can take that number, and put it into a nationwide data system. Freeman says they typically find stolen guns during traffic stops. 

"Most time, if an officer encounters a firearm, he is going to run the serial number off the gun. In fact, I believe it was last year, a gun was stolen in Monroe County and we retrieved it in Arizona," says Freeman. 

Officers may be able to get guns back to their rightful owners, but to avoid the risk, hide your valuables and lock up. 

The sheriff's office says if you live in these areas and saw anyone suspicious around the neighborhood, to call the sheriff's office at (478)-994-7048.

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