Less than a week after a California Highway Patrol officer had his loaded gun stolen after he inexplicably left it in a backpack on the front seat of his SoMa-parked car, the weapon has been recovered and its possessor arrested.
You probably remember the story: On Sunday, October 18, a CHP officer parked his Prius at 8th and Howard Streets, near the SF CHP office where he works.
In the front seat, he left his "personal weapon," a loaded handgun, in a backpack. As any reasonable person who lives in the world might expect, the car's window was smashed, and the backpack stolen.
While CHP policy requires officers who are on-duty to lock their service weapons away, that rule doesn't apply to off-duty (as this man was) officers and their personal weapons (as this gun was).
“Based on our policy for when you’re on duty, it doesn’t really apply to when you’re off-duty," CHP spokesperson Officer Vu Williams said at the time of the theft.
"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.”
The head-shaking circumstances of the theft aside, there was still the matter of the gun to worry about...at least, until 5:36 p.m. Friday.
That's when, says San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Officer Albie Esparza, officers on patrol near South Van Ness Avenue and 26th Street in the Mission pulled over a vehicle with a "cracked and broken brake lamp."
The driver, 29-year-old Sergio Manriquez of San Francisco, didn't have a driver's license, and "was also on active court probation," Esparza says.
That meant police could conduct "a probation search of the vehicle," during which they say that they "located a loaded firearm."
The gun, they say, was the one stolen from the CHP officer's vehicle.
Manriquez was booked into San Francisco County Jail "on weapons, stolen property, traffic and probation violations" Esparza says. He remains in custody as of this morning.