Police say teen who shot self stole gun, a common crime in Austin, report shows

APD personnel investigate at the scene where a 19-year-old man shot himself in police custody in the 500 block of Lavaca Street in downtown Austin on Sunday. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

APD personnel investigate at the scene where a 19-year-old man shot himself in police custody in the 500 block of Lavaca Street in downtown Austin on Sunday. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Austin police Chief Brian Manley reported Tuesday that the gun that 19-year-old Zachary Anam had with him when he shot himself while handcuffed in the back of a police vehicle on Sunday was reported stolen in an Austin vehicle burglary last year.

As it turns out, Austin ranks high among some of the cities with the most vehicle gun thefts, according to a recent analysis by the criminal justice website The Trace.

In total, 377 guns were reported stolen from vehicles in Austin in 2015, The Trace reported.

Austin has seen some fluctuations in these numbers year to year, but in general, the city has seen a steady increase in reported gun thefts from vehicles from 2006 to 2015, which mirrors a similar trend in other cities.

Of the 54 cities The Trace analyzed, Austin ranked fourth in total gun thefts from vehicles. Several cities larger than Austin did not respond to the website’s requests for information, including New York City, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Antonio.

Many gun owners never report losses and thefts to police, and most stolen firearms are never recovered, The Trace reported. In some cases, owners couldn’t provide their gun’s serial number, which is crucial to helping investigators identify the stolen weapon.

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