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Gun thefts from cars reported near Dayton
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TOWN OF EXETER - The Green County Sheriff's Department is seeking leads in a string of vehicle break-ins and gun thefts reported over the past six weeks southeast of Belleville.

The five reports of theft involve eight vehicles and are concentrated in the N8800 block of Hannah Road and N8600 block of County X, near the community of Dayton in the Town of Exeter.

"These are all in close proximity," Sheriff Mark Rohloff said.

The first report came in Feb. 2. A truck had been broken into and a rifle stolen out of the vehicle. A few weeks later, on Feb. 21, a pistol was reported stolen from a car. The next day, a Colt .45 handgun was discovered stolen out of a pickup truck.

Most recently, deputies responded Sunday to a report that the windows had been broken out of a vehicle parked on Hannah Road and a pistol stolen. The pistol was "in plain sight" between the front two seats, Rohloff said.

Just down the road, cash and cigarettes were taken from four more vehicles parked in a driveway.

It is believed the most recent thefts occurred between 11 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

Three of the five theft reports over the past six weeks involved unlocked vehicles.

Since laws allowing concealed carry of firearms went into effect in Wisconsin in 2011, it's not uncommon for people to keep guns in their vehicles, Rohloff said. To reduce the risk of thefts from vehicles, however, the sheriff's office recommends locking vehicles and keeping any valuables inside out of sight.

The sheriff's office is asking anyone with information on the thefts to call dispatch at 608-328-9400 or Green County Crime Stoppers at 800-I-C-CRIME (422-7463) or to text the information to GREENTIP (274637).

"We don't have anybody as a primary suspect," Rohloff said Wednesday afternoon.