DE SOTO, Mo. – The De Soto police chief is apologizing after firearms were stolen from an officer’s unattended police vehicle last week.
Authorities have now recovered both of the stolen weapons and charges are likely against multiple suspects, Chief Jeff McCreary said.
One of those suspects smashed the back window of the officer’s SUV with a sledgehammer as the vehicle was parked at the officer’s house early Friday morning, Chief McCreary said.
He is looking into better security systems for “in-vehicle” weapons and credits his investigators and the Jefferson County Drug Task Force with quickly tracking down the weapons: a rifle found Sunday stashed in a vehicle in St. Louis and a shotgun found Monday in a home just outside of DeSoto with its serial number removed.
The two guns were in their cases inside the SUV but the cases were not secured to the vehicle, McCreary said.
“The officer came out in the morning and found the back window had been smashed in an Explorer SUV. He looked in the vehicle, found a lot of stuff was missing, including a patrol rifle and shotgun,” the chief said. “Obviously, that’s very concerning for us. We preach to people all the time, don’t leave anything of value in your car. In this year’s budget, we put in for really safe locks for our long guns to be kept in our cars.”
There’s an ongoing internal affairs investigation into whether the officer followed procedure for securing his police weapons.