Local News

Garner Police Change Policy After Weapons Theft

Posted November 3, 2006 9:10 a.m. EST

— Two police-issue shotguns are on the streets, but not with the officers they belong to, after an unknown culprit broke into two police cars and stole the weapons early Friday morning.

Garner police said it takes a certain kind of person to take a brick, smash a window and steal items from a patrol car

"Someone who has no respect for authority," said Garner Police Sgt. Joe Binns.

The two cars were parked along businesses on Raynor Road. Police officials said they believe the guns were stolen between about 2:40 a.m. and 5 a.m.

One weapon was taken out of the trunk of a patrol car, while another shotgun was pried out of a safety lock inside a different cruiser parked about 50 yards away.

"It's hard to steal. It's secure in there," said Binns.

Because the lock is electronic with a magnetic seal, Binns said he believes someone who had used that kind of lock before likely was able to get the gun out.

The unmanned vehicles in Garner had been parked for four days with the guns inside. When officers are off-duty, they don't park their patrol cars at the department, but at businesses across Garner to deter crime as part of the community vehicle deployment program.

Cary police have a similar program, but their department has a strict policy that no weapons should be left in parked vehicles. Now, Garner police officials said their department will create a policy similar to Cary's.

But for now, the aim is to get the shotguns back.

"We don't want our weapons out on the street to be possibly used in any kind of crime," Binns said.

The weapons have been entered into a national database. If they are recovered on the street, they will come up as stolen.

Garner police are offering a $500 reward for information in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Garner Police Department at 919-772-8810 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME.