Mayor Don Wesely said today’s unanimous passage of his crime package by the City Council will help to keep Lincoln a safe community. The package includes three new City ordinances, which will take effect April 22, 2003:
“The passage of this crime package will make it harder for criminals to profit from stealing, reduce the theft of guns from cars, and keep firearms out of the hands of those with serious criminal records,” said Wesely. “With these new ordinances in place, we are giving our police officers more assistance in keeping our City a safe place to do business and raise families.”
Police Chief Tom Casady said Lincoln had more than 4,600 vehicle break-ins last year, accounting for well over $1 million in property loss and damage. There were also nearly 2,000 burglaries in the City in 2002. Chief Casady said that over the past five years, Lincoln police officers have investigated more than 1,200 gun-related incidents, including 11 murders with guns, seven assaults on officers with guns, 256 robberies with guns and 275 assaults with guns.
The new ordinance on pawning property is intended to make it more difficult for criminals to obtain fast cash by disposing of stolen property. Pawn shop owners are not required to check criminal records but it will be unlawful for them to knowingly accept property from convicted thieves. The new ordinance prohibiting the storage of firearms in vehicles is intended to decrease the opportunity that criminals will obtain stolen guns.
The third new ordinance will outlaw possession of a firearm in the City limits by persons convicted within the last ten years of any of the following misdemeanors: