Local News

26-year-old charged with stealing AR-15 rifle from Chatham County deputy's vehicle

Posted February 23

Westley Riddle, 26, of 5997 Edwards Road in Sanford was charged with one count of felony breaking and entering a vehicle, one count of felony larceny of a firearm and one count of felony possession of stolen goods.
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— A man was charged Wednesday with stealing several items out of a Chatham County Sheriff’s Office vehicle earlier in the week.

Authorities said that an AR-15 rifle, two 30-round magazines and body armor were stolen Monday from the unoccupied vehicle, which was being driven by an on-call deputy. The items were recovered Wednesday.

Westley Riddle, 26, of 5997 Edwards Road in Sanford was charged with one count of felony breaking and entering a vehicle, one count of felony larceny of a firearm and one count of felony possession of stolen goods.

Riddle was being held under $15,000 secured bond.

Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson said tips from residents led to Riddle’s arrest.

“The items were recovered swiftly thanks to support and participation from the community as well as from our law enforcement partners,” he said. “We are happy to report that a suspect has been arrested and charged and thankful that no one was harmed as a result of this incident.”

Roberson said the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office opened an internal investigation into the incident to determine if any policies were violated or if there are ways to minimize similar future incidents.

5 Comments

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  • Nathan Brewer Feb 23, 10:00 p.m.
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    Chatham county sheriffs carry their rifles in overhead locks attached to the roof. The trunk would be way less safe. Given enough time anyone could pry it off the roof though, or just find the lock release button.

  • Jeff Freuler Feb 23, 8:51 p.m.
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    So I guess you are assuming the officer didn't have it secured like in the trunk. I know of some that have been taken from the trunk of law enforcement vehicles.

    You know what they say about assuming.

    Regardless of how it was stored it was still theft and breaking and entering. Wait I'm sure you think the officer just had it lying on the top of the vehicle with a sign that says take me.

  • Steven Reynolds Feb 23, 8:15 p.m.
    user avatar

    Ok, fine the guy was guilty of theft. Why was the weapon taken so easily? Will the officer be reprimanded for such a severe lack of judgement as to allow his weapon to be that available?

  • Dan Ratka Feb 23, 8:08 p.m.
    user avatar

    Federal law. 10 years minimum. I don't care if he says he didn't mean to do it. Not premeditated? Don't steal a gun. It's the law. Follow it. Do the crime, do the time. So long stupid..

  • Tim Orr Feb 23, 7:03 p.m.
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    I thought the gun control legislations were supposed to keep guns out of the hands of crooks? How's that going?