Garland police say at least five firearms have been reported missing or stolen since an EF4 tornado ripped through the area Dec. 26. Police said it's imperative that gun owners notify them if they have not seen their firearms since the storm.
"The fact that we know the firearm is missing or stolen … is important to us because we want to make sure we are aware of all the extra weapons out there," Garland Police Lt. Pedro Barineau.
One person told police the tornado blew away his three Ruger handguns. Two other people said looters stole their guns in the aftermath of the storm, including a semi-automatic pistol.
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"Those are weapons (that) we don't know what the true intention is," said Barineau. "It could be something that could be used against the police department, it can be used against individuals who are out and about, businesses in a robbery."
Police want gun owners to treat their firearms like any other piece of property lost in the storm and report them missing.
"It doesn't matter if you have the serial number or not. I mean, the fact that a gun is stolen or missing, we want to know about it," said Barineau.
But tracking guns without the use of a serial number can be extremely difficult.
"It's going to be a difficult task without the serial number. There's virtually no way to trace a weapon, as far knowing whether or not it's stolen, unless you get ATF involved," said NBC 5 law enforcement expert Don Peritz. "It may end up in a pawn shop somewhere, but without the serial number it's going to be difficult to determine whether it was stolen and pawned, or found and pawned."