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SPOKANE, Wash. -
The Spokane County Sheriff's Office says it's time to stop categorizing property crimes as non-violent, because the people committing them are turning more dangerous by the day.
In Sheriff Knezovich's 27 years of law enforcement he's seen just about everything you can think of when it comes to crime. "When someone commits a crime. If you try to stop them, they tend to get violent," said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich
Seven percent of home break-ins turn violent according to the Bureau Of Justice Statistics.
"I'm watching people that never even considered buying a weapon buying weapons now because they're afraid," Knezovich said.
In the U.S personal firearms are stolen at an alarming rate. Between 300,000 and 600,000 firearms are stolen every year. That's 1,600 guns per-day. More than one every minute. Just last week the property crimes task force took a convicted felon and four stolen guns off the streets in Spokane one a shortened 10 gage shotgun
"Tell me that these property crimes are non-violent," Sheriff Knezovich said.
Knezovich says they have been very lucky but it's only a matter of time before something happens.
"We've had several instances where homeowners had to defend themselves because of someone breaking into their houses," he said.
The sheriff says it's time to get tough with these repeat property crime offenders.
"There's no accountability for committing crimes in Spokane county. Even though your police officers and your deputies are out there doing their jobs and arresting these people on a continual basis."