PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth police are warning residents and visitors in the city to lock their vehicle doors and secure firearms.

Police on Wednesday said larcenies from vehicles are a significant concern for the Portsmouth Police Department.

Almost 90% of all property crimes in Portsmouth involve thefts from vehicles. In addition, almost 90% of those larcenies are from unlocked vehicles.

Many vehicles also have firearms inside. Police said just this year, 70 guns have been stolen from vehicles; nearly 50 were taken from unlocked cars.

Those stolen guns can be used in other crimes by gang members, or crimes such as aggravated assault or homicide or threatening law enforcement. The guns may also be taken to other cities and sold illegally.

“It’s a quick way for someone who can’t purchase a firearm to get one and use it for whatever illegal means they can think of,” said Lt. S. Blystone with Portsmouth police.

Because larcenies from vehicles are crimes of opportunity, police advise drivers to lock their doors so people sneaking through neighborhoods and pulling at car doors won’t have an easy time entering the vehicle. Smashing windows or using a locksmith tool takes time and often aren’t used in these types of crimes, police said.

Additionally, don’t leave keys or other valuables — including firearms — in the car.

“If you leave your keys in your car they’ll steal the car too,” Lt. Blystone said. “Leaving guns in vehicles will lead to other crimes even in the neighborhood they were stolen from. It creates a criminal element beyond larceny.”