More than 25,000 households in King County reported storing loaded and unlocked firearms in 2009, according to county statistics. But what about guns stored in the attic behind a door locked with a keypad?
If you leave something like a pair of bolt cutters lying around, that locked door isn't worth jack shit. That's the takeaway from a burglary reported last Tuesday in West Seattle.
The burglar entered the house by smashing a sliding glass door with a garden tool, according to the police report. Officer William Dausner reports that the suspect rifled through a series of bedroom drawers and closets, including in the victim's daughter's room. Then the suspect moved to the living room, where he noticed a keypad-locked door to the attic.
The homeowner "had left a pair of bolt cutters out," the police report says, and the suspect took full advantage, using them to "punch out the center of the [attic] door." The suspect found "a black powder revolver, single shot muzzle loaded percussion pistol, and a World War I era flare pistol," notes Officer Dausner. All of the firearms were stolen. (No word on whether the guns themselves were loaded or had locks on them at the time.)
The victim told Officer Dausner that he might be able to locate the serial numbers for the stolen guns. The police were able to find a single fingerprint left on the keypad on the attic door, along with one other.
That old flare pistol might be worth a pretty penny—a quick online search brings up prices ranging from $300–800. In 2011, almost $3 million worth of firearms were stolen in Washington State.