POLICE have warned Colac and district gun owners to ensure their licence conditions are up to date.
Geelong Divisional Intelligence Unit has analysed crime data and identified an increasing trend of rural burglaries and theft of firearms in Colac Otway, Geelong and the Surf Coast.
Thieves have stolen firearms from properties at Colac and Irrewarra since the start of the year.
Police have launched Operation 388 in response to the thefts which focuses on firearms regulatory compliance.
Leading Senior Constable Anthony Sheedy of Geelong Divisional Firearms Office said gun owners needed to properly secure their property.
“Rural property owners are at greater risk of unwittingly being a source for black market firearms due to a number of factors including inadequate storage practices,” Sen Const Sheedy said.
“Our division will be stepping up random inspections over the coming months so my advice to firearms licence holders and dealers in these areas is – expect a visit,” he said.
“The key message we’re trying to communicate with licence holders is that it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure firearms don’t end up in the wrong hands.”
Police have seized 260 firearms and found 10 licence holders in breach of their obligations since the sting started in February.