Last week’s theft of $3,300 worth of loaded guns and ammo from a sheriff’s vehicle in Summerville should not raise concern about how off-duty deputies store their firearms, agency officials said Wednesday.
Four guns, including a military-style rifle used in SWAT situations, were stolen Friday from an unmarked Charleston County Sheriff’s Office sport utility vehicle. Authorities think the SUV was unlocked.
Maj. Jim Brady, a sheriff’s spokesman, declined to detail procedures for storing weapons when deputies are off duty because it could open the Sheriff’s Office to more thefts.
Brady asked that the deputy’s name be withheld because of security concerns.
“Obviously, we want to secure them and secure the vehicle,” he said. “But I don’t want to go into how many weapons are stored in a vehicle or how we secure them.”
The deputy reported Friday that his Ford Explorer was burglarized at some point overnight as it sat in his home’s driveway in the Weatherstone subdivision. While he was driving his vehicle that morning, he noticed it had been rummaged through, a report said.
He couldn’t recall for Summerville police detectives whether he had locked the vehicle, but officers couldn’t find any evidence of forced entry.
Two guns were taken from a black bag stored in the cargo area: a Remington 12-gauge shotgun worth $500 and a Colt M4 rifle valued at $2,000.
A $300 Taurus handgun and an iPhone were removed from the vehicle’s center console. The deputy’s duty belt, which held his $500 .40-caliber Glock pistol, was stolen, along with several magazines of ammunition.
Each gun was loaded, the deputy reported.
Credit cards, a police radio, a badge, a Taser, a protective vest and some ammunition were left behind.
Nearby, investigators found the belt and another badge but none of the weapons. They also found a $1 bill and plastic gloves they think were related to the burglary.
No suspects had been identified. Capt. Jon Rogers, a Summerville police spokesman, said there’s no way to tell whether the thief knew that the vehicle belonged to a deputy.
“It’s still an active, ongoing investigation,” he said. “There were no other burglaries reported (in the area) that night.”
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.