GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) A rash of break-ins near ECU's campus have police looking for thieves responsible for taking valuable items out of student vehicles -- including ID's, money, even guns and ammunition.
At places like the Riverwalk Homes off-campus community in Greenville, students awoke Tuesday morning to an unsettling surprise.
ECU student Justin Myers says, "I came outside and my side door was open and they had gone through my center console and my trunk."
Myers was one of the students targeted as thieves rummaged through his unlocked car late in the night.
Myers says, "They had gone through my glove box, they had gone through by gun bag, thankfully I didn't have any firearms in my car. They didn't take anything because I didn't have anything of value in my car, but it's frustrating that people wait until 4 or 5 in the morning to break into other peoples car. "
While Myers gun bag was empty, others weren't so lucky.
Greenville Police say a total of seven guns worth thousands of dollars were taken from three separate vehicles all within a mile of each other. Three of the guns were taken from the back seat of a vehicle on Ash Street, three more in a car parked off Cypress View Drive, and one other on Blue Beech Drive.
Police say the thefts happened between 8:00 p.m. Monday and 5:00 a.m. Tuesday.
Police don't believe certain vehicles were necessarily targeted because they were trucks, but instead because the trucks were unlocked and had guns left out in plain sight.
Kristen Hunter with Greenville Police also says that the department asks firearm owners to take responsibility for their guns as they have the potential to end up in the hands of violent criminals, especially during this time of year when there is potential for more guns to be in more vehicles due to hunting season.
According to Greenville police the safest place you can keep a firearm is locked up inside. If for any reason you do have a gun inside of your car, you need to make sure that your car is locked before walking away for any period of time.