Medford police are investigating the thefts of two semiautomatic rifles from separate vehicles early Thursday.
The first theft was reported at 1:12 a.m., when a 24-year-old Coos Bay resident said his AR-15 rifle had been stolen from his car.
The man had parked his car on Fir Street and locked the doors, but left the windows partly open for ventilation, Medford police said in a news release. The man returned to the car later and found that someone had forced down the window of his 2005 Chevy pickup and unlocked the door.
In addition, the suspect stole a camouflage backpack.
The rifle is described as a Smith & Wesson M&P AR-15 with a Magpul stock and a red-dot sight. The rifle is valued at $1,000.
A few hours later another man, who lives in the 1500 block of Wilson Place, reported that his Ruger Mini-14 semiautomatic had been stolen from his vehicle.
The victim told police he had left his Ford pickup unlocked and a thief had stolen the rifle he left inside.
The rifle was stainless steel with a tan folding stock. It was fitted with a 20-round magazine. A spare 10-round magazine also was stolen. The rifle is valued at $750.
The Medford Police Department would like to remind gun owners to take precautions in securing their guns. An unattended vehicle should not be considered a proper location to store a gun. Furthermore, gun owners should write down the serial number for each gun they own and not rely on the business they bought it from to provide those records.
During the first six months of 2012, Medford police looked into the thefts of 13 stolen firearms. During the same time period in 2013, police looked into the thefts of 41 stolen firearms. This does not include Thursday's cases.