Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Public safety

Equipment stolen from another Pinellas law enforcement officer's trunk

PINELLAS PARK — A Pinellas County law enforcement officer had his guns, badge, ammo and other equipment stolen, the second time this has happened this month.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said the deputy, who was not named, reported someone broke into the trunk of his unmarked vehicle between 5 p.m. March 11 and 7 a.m. March 12.

The thief took ammo, a Rock River Arms Rifle, a Glock pistol with Blackhawk paddle holster and drop-down leg holster, a flashlight, a Bench Mark knife, handcuffs and a baton.

The person also took a black vest with "Sheriff" on the front and back, a black trifold leather wallet with a silver sheriff's star badge and two credentials.

The vehicle was parked at the deputy's home in the area of 80th Avenue N and 41st Street, spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said.

The Sheriff's Office announced the theft Tuesday, a day after authorities in St. Petersburg had to pull a police officer's Chevy Impala out of Lake Maggiore.

The Impala was stolen from his home nearby. Police think someone broke into Detective Matthew Furse's locked personal car first and found the keys for the police car inside.

The thief dumped the car in the lake, but not before taking from the trunk a .45 Glock handgun, Furse's personal AR-15 Colt rifle, ammunition and a police radio.

Police spokesman Mike Puetz said it does not appear the officer violated any policies.

Barreda said the incident with the deputy is under review. She said officials didn't report the theft immediately because they were tracking leads.

Both agencies are still looking for the thieves and called the recent incidents "alarming."

"Certainly, this is a concern," Barreda said. "We're talking weapons that are obviously in the hands of a criminal now."

Anyone with information about the St. Petersburg case is asked to call (727) 893-7780. Anyone with information about the Sheriff's Office case is asked to call (727) 582-6200.

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