The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is changing its procedures after a thief stole two assault rifles and a shotgun from the marked vehicles of sheriff's deputies.
Seven vehicles were burglarized Monday morning, including six law enforcement vehicles. On Friday, a Jackson County Sheriff's Office marked vehicle was also vandalized. Weapons were taken from the county vehicles.
Altogether, the crooks got two AR-15 assault rifles, the shotgun and ammunition.
The killer in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut used an AR-15.
"My job is to focus on finding the weapons and the people who stole them," Kansas City police Sgt. Rodney Gentry said Tuesday. "Just because you carry a badge and uphold the law doesn't mean you're immune to being a victim of crime."
The federal government has added $5,000 to bring to $6,000 that would be paid to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest.
Four unmarked Kansas City police vehicles were part of the crime spree. A Kansas City police spokeswoman said no weapons were taken from the department's unmarked KCPD vehicles.
A seventh vehicle, owned by a civilian, was also hit. The vehicles' windows were smashed in.
Duffle bags and documents were taken in addition to the weapons.
Ronda Montgomery, spokesman for the sheriff's office, said the sheriff's office allowed deputies to store their weapons in their vehicles because the vehicles were equipped with high security magnetic locks on special lock boxes. Only the operator of the vehicles should have known about using the locking system.
Montgomery said the sheriff's office is working with the vendor to determine how the suspect circumvented the system to gain access to the weapons. In the meantime, deputies are being told not to leave their weapons inside the vehicles when they are unoccupied.
The crime spree was reported to police about 2:30 a.m. in the area of East 76th Street and Breckenridge Avenue, which is just west of Lee's Summit Road in southeast Kansas City.
Officers discovered the crime spree after receiving a report of shots fired. The thief fired off shots from the stolen weapons. Gear was also dumped in a roadside ditch.
Kansas City Maj. Anthony Ell lives in the neighborhood but was not a victim of the crime spree. He said the thief likely sought police radios, uniforms, bullet-proof vests and yes, the weapons as well as "anything that they somehow think they can use."
Using police radios and computers would be difficult without the right codes, Ell said.
"But I try not to keep a lot of things in my vehicle of value because you never know what may happen," he said.
Montgomery said the Independence Police Department, the FBI and U.S. Marshal's Office had cars broken into within the past year.
The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said it is reviewing their policy in the wake of the thefts. The agency now doesn't address firearms in unoccupied vehicles, but does have a policy on using gun locks in vehicles.
The U.S. Marshal's Office said firearms are to be left in a vehicle only if there is a weapons vault.
If you have any information, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:34 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:34:56 GMT
Susan Swanson owns the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center on Broad Street. There is a two hour limited parking sign in front of her company but she says no one enforces it. The parking limit downtown has beenMore >>
Susan Swanson owns the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center on Broad Street. There is a two hour limited parking sign in front of her company but she says no one enforces it.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:20:40 GMT
A vigil for the family members killed in a suspected triple homicide was held at the Augusta Deliverance Evangelical Church Wednesday night. The vigil for Roosevelt Jones, Edna Jones and their son Russell JonesMore >>
A vigil for the family members killed in a suspected triple homicide was held at the Augusta Deliverance Evangelical Church Wednesday night.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:54 PM EDT2013-05-23 02:54:02 GMT
Friends and neighbors now say the Jones Family, Edna, Roosevelt, and Russell, are the victims of a suspected triple homicide in South Augusta.The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has been investigatingMore >>
Friends and neighbors now say the Jones Family, Edna, Roosevelt, and Russell, are the victims of a suspected triple homicide in South Augusta.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:42 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:42:44 GMT
It's been two days since a tornado ripped through Moore, Ok nearly destroying the town along with two schools; now one local school is re-evaluating their safety plans. Even though it's the last weekMore >>
It's been two days since a tornado ripped through Moore, Ok nearly destroying the town along with two schools; now one local school is re-evaluating their safety plans. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:39:09 GMT
Mobility, the company that runs Augusta's Public Transit, is now suing the city after the Richmond County Commission voted to terminate their five year contract. Mobility's attorney Robert Mullins toldMore >>
Mobility, the company that runs Augusta's Public Transit, is now suing the city after the Richmond County Commission voted to terminate their five year contract.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:53 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:53:51 GMT
Family, friends and fellow officers said goodbye to Deputy Alton Creech Tuesday morning. A funeral was held at First Baptist Church on Walton Way. Deputy Creech crashed his motorcycle on I-20, lastMore >>
Hundreds attend the funeral of Deputy Allen Creech.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:51 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:51:46 GMT
Carole Timmerman lives on Ferree Place in Graniteville and after a severe storm rolled through Aiken County Tuesday, she had to watch where she stepped. "It's horrible, it's so dangerous," said TimmermanMore >>
Aiken County Emergency Management officials say there were wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour. The strong winds uprooted trees, caused power lines to fall and tore into homes. More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:30 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:30:22 GMT
Patrons may lose a popular shopping area in Aiken. The Aiken Mall has been foreclosed after the owner stopped making payments on the interest of the property in April.The Aiken County clerk of courts sayMore >>
Patrons may lose a popular shopping area in Aiken. The Aiken Mall has been foreclosed after the owner stopped making payments on the interest of the property in April.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:22 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:22:03 GMT
Two months since an EF1 tornado touched down in Gibson, residents in its path are still cleaning up the destruction left behind. "It just picked up trees from out of the ground, roots and all, and justMore >>
Two months since an EF1 tornado touched down in Gibson, residents in its path are still cleaning up the destruction left behind.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:11 AM EDT2013-05-21 13:11:48 GMT
Aiken County deputies say they searched with New Ellenton police officers for two armed men who shot dogs on Sizemore Avenue on Saturday night. Aiken County deputies say they started searching for the suspectsMore >>
A second suspect, a 17 year old, was arrested just before 10pm Monday. He was taken to the Aiken County Jail.More >>