Ask any cop the best thing you can do to avoid an auto break-in, and I promise that the first thing that he or she will tell you is "don't leave anything in your car." So it's a real head-scratcher to hear that yet another Bay Area law enforcement officer has had their gun stolen from their vehicle. Guess it's a case of "do as I say, not as I do"?
This time, the cop in question is with the California Highway Patrol. On Sunday, the unnamed officer had parked his Prius in the sedate, quiet, totally-non-sketchy neighborhood of 8th and Howard Streets, leaving a loaded firearm inside a backpack deftly hidden on the front seat of the vehicle, the Chron reports.
That's when, reports ABC7, a thief smashed one of the Prius' windows and stole the bag.
According to a CHP spokesperson who spoke with ABC7, "officers are encouraged not to leave weapons in vehicles and they are looking into the incident."
KRON4 reports that the firearm was the officer's "personal weapon." So, while CHP policy requires officers who are on-duty to lock their service weapons away, those rules don't apply in this case.
“When you’re off-duty, it’s essentially your responsibility to secure it properly and in a reasonable manner,” CHP spokesperson Officer Vu Williams told the Chron.
“Based on our policy for when you’re on duty, it doesn’t really apply to when you’re off-duty. We’re looking into it to see if there has been any violation of policy, but we have not come into a decision of whether we will investigate the officer for something he did wrong.”
And before you suggest that maybe the officer was from out of town and somehow didn't know that cars get broken into here (?!?) , the officer in question "works out of the CHP’s San Francisco office on Eighth Street near Highway 101," the Chron reports.
Sunday's case is just the latest in a string of gun thefts from the vehicles of Bay Area law officers. In August, UC Berkeley Police Chief Margo Bennett had her gun stolen from her car as she went for a run in Richmond. Also in August, the gun of a Hayward police officer was stolen from a car near Fruitvale BART.
And, of course, there's the case of Kate Steinle, who was killed by the bullet from a gun stolen from a BLM agent parked in downtown SF this June.
It's not just cops who are getting their guns stolen, however: the loaded weapon used to kill Golden Gate Park backpacker Audrey Carey and Marin hiker Steve Carter was stolen from an unlocked truck parked near Fisherman's Wharf. So why anyone — let alone a police officer, who should really know better — would leave something this dangerous in their car is beyond me.
Or as San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr put it to the Chron, “We tell everybody, ‘Don’t leave anything within the passenger compartment of your car.’"
"So it seems to go without saying that on the top of that list is anything that would have any lethality involved.”