Nearly two weeks after a submachine gun, a bulletproof vest, and ammunition was stolen from an FBI agent's vehicle in the Bay Area, the agency appears no closer to finding the lost weapon.
According to a statement sent by the FBI to media Friday, a special agent’s vehicle was robbed between 6:00 p.m. on January 8, 2017 and 10:00 a.m. on January 9 in either Concord, Orinda or Lafayette. A Heckler & Koch MP5 10mm, three ammunition magazines for the weapon, and a ballistic vest were taken in the car break-in, according the statement.
Speaking with CBS 5, FBI-San Francisco spokesperson Prentice Danner says that "the firearm and the magazine were in a lockbox in the trunk of the vehicle. The vest was not in a lockbox."
The vagueness on time and location is because, CBS reports, the special agent who was robbed "last saw the weapons on the evening of January 8 but didn’t notice it was missing from the trunk until the morning of January 9, 2017."
"During that time, the special agent had taken the car to Lafayette, Orinda and Concord."
KRON 4 quotes Danner as saying that the gun is “a 'specialized weapon' that one would not typically wear on his/her person regularly.”
Here's a video of an H&K 10mm MP5 in action:
Theft and loss of weapons by local law enforcement has become so commonplace — according to the Bay Area News Group report from June of 2016, since 2010, Bay Area agencies lost a staggering 944 guns — that legislation has been introduced at the local and state level to require officers to take steps to prevent the crime. Here's a rundown of just a few recent cases of that nature:
- May 29, 2016: An FBI agent parked near Alamo Square suffered a smash and grab, in which "his FBI department-issued, fully loaded glock 27 and ankle holster" were taken. The gun was retrieved following a raid on a Bayview home.
- March 25, 2016: San Francisco sheriff deputy’s gun, duty belt, and bullet proof vest were stolen from a Visitacion Valley home, as was an SFPD star
- February 19, 2016: An ICE agent lost his gun in the Ingleside after leaving it on top of his car and driving off
- January 28, 2016: Three handguns, an FBI badge, credentials, and “miscellaneous FBI property” were stolen from a car parked in Benicia
- October 18, 2015: An off-duty CHP officer was robbed of his his "personal" handgun after he left it in a backpack on the front seat of his Prius, parked at 8th and Howard
- September 13, 2015: An ICE agent's gun is stolen from a vehicle parked in SF, and was later used to kill an Oakland muralist
- June, 2015: A Bureau of Land Management agent left a gun "in a backpack in the back of his car 'in plain sight.'" After that gun was stolen, it was used to kill Kate Steinle. Her family has since filed suit against the BLM, charging "lax enforcement of gun safety regulations among the law enforcement agencies involved."
In September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a requirement that cops must lock up their guns left in unattended vehicles or face fines of $1,000. That law would, indeed, apply to a federal agent working in California, if the weapon wasn't properly secured.
Danner tells CBS 5 that in this case, there was no sign of forced entry to the vehicle, and that an internal investigation into "how the weapons were stolen from the trunk and the lockbox" is ongoing.
The FBI asks that anyone with information regarding the weapons call their San Francisco Field Office at (415) 553-7400. You can also leave an anonymous tip, they say, at tips.fbi.gov.