MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Despite the warnings from law enforcement agencies in Shelby County, it appears drivers are still leaving guns and other valuables inside their parked vehicles.

Memphis Police said Wednesday morning, thieves stole a white 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a weapon inside from the 1800 block of Randolph Place and used the SUV to break into several automobiles at two locations.

Investigators said at least four vehicles were broken into at Delta Medical on Getwell Road, and the car burglars got away with a purse worth $150 and $2,000 from a Toyota Camry, a $320 purse and $300 from a Mazda, and a $50 purse, two credits cards and a social security card from a Chevy Sonic parked on the lot.

Police said the thieves in the stolen Jeep also took a wallet, $200, several credit cards, and a driver’s license from a Chevy Silverado outside Citi Thrift on Summer Avenue.

MPD said one of the car burglars, later identified as 31-year-old Dean Jackson, was arrested after the Bartlett Crime Suppression Unit spotted him driving the stolen white Grand Cherokee near Summer and Sycamore View.

Dean Jackson: Courtesy: Shelby County Sheriff’s Department

They said Jackson was taken into custody after he parked the SUV on Alma Street. Officers said Jackson was carrying a loaded gun, the key to the Jeep, as well as a bank card, a gift card, a driver’s license, and two medical cards that did not belong to him.

Detectives said they also found some of the stolen purses, an EBT card, social security cards, and various insurance cards inside the stolen Jeep.

According to the Memphis Data Hub, so far this year, there have been 7,118 thefts from vehicles in the Memphis area. That compares to 5,821 over the same period last year.

Thefts from vehicles from Jan 1, 2023-Aug 17, 2023. Source: Memphis Data Hub

The Memphis Data Hub also shows 10,260 auto thefts in 2023 in Memphis and the surrounding suburbs. That compares to 5,352 in 2022, a 91% increase.

Theft of vehicles from Jan 1, 2023 – Aug 17, 2023. Source: Memphis Data Hub

Jackson has been charged with theft of $60,000-$250,000 and theft of $1,000 or less. He is being held on an $80,000 bond.

Investigators said surveillance footage from Delta Medical showed at least three people were involved in the car break-ins.