The Wyandotte Police Department is changing its weapons policy after two police-issued guns were stolen recently out of a cruiser.
The car was at the Wyandotte Department of Public Services for routine service when someone broke into the DPS on Oct. 4.
The thief stole a rifle, a shotgun and several ammunition magazines from the police car. Thousands of dollars worth of tools also were stolen from the DPS.
Police Chief Daniel Grant said it’s troubling anytime a gun is in the hands of an unknown person, but said he’s not overly concerned because the stolen guns are the same type of weapons that the general public already has access to.
“Anytime you have a gun on the street and it’s gong to be used for illegal purposes, it’s going to be of concern to law enforcement,” he said. “These guns, however, are the same type of weapons any law-abiding person can purchase on their own. … Had it been semi-automatic weapons or something of that sort, I’d have much more concern.”
Grant said he doesn’t fault the officer for leaving weapons in the vehicle while it was being repaired, but said that won’t happen again.
“The (DPS) building is alarmed and locked up and it’s never been a problem in the past,” he said. “When we take them to an auto dealer, for instance, we make sure there are no weapons in the vehicle. But at the city of Wyandotte site, we felt it was secured. …
“We have changed our policies where anytime a car goes out for service, it will not have firearms on board unless an officer is present and plans to stay with the vehicle.”
The stolen police weapons, which contain some identifiable marks, have been reported to the state and to the National Crime Information Center.
Grant said he expects the person responsible to be charged with several crimes, including breaking and entering, larceny and destruction of police property, which is a felony.
The chief said the investigation is ongoing and should be wrapped up within a couple weeks, at the latest.
“We’ve got a lot done on the case,” he said. “We’ve got more interviews to do and still need to pull certain records. … We’ve got a pretty intensive investigation going on with this one.”