A San Francisco sheriff’s deputy has been reassigned after their service gun was stolen from their parked vehicle in Fairfield last week, according to the sheriff’s department.
Sometime on Thursday, a suspect broke into the deputy’s car, parked outside their home, and took the weapon, sheriff’s department spokesperson Terry Rather said.
“We were notified about this incident and it is under investigation,” Rather said. “The deputy has been detailed to an assignment not requiring a firearm. We take this matter seriously. Safety is a priority with the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department and deputies with this department are trained and admonished to properly secure their firearms.”
Fairfield police were not immediately available for comment.
Last month, another San Francisco sheriff’s deputy’s service-issued firearm was stolen from their car in Pinole.
Also, in September 2017, a San Francisco sheriff’s deputy’s gun was stolen from a rental car parked in San Francisco.
Guns stolen from law enforcement have been a major issue for Bay Area agencies, as several of the weapons have been used in fatal shootings in recent years.
A gun stolen from a San Francisco police officer’s personal vehicle in August 2017 was used in an alleged crime spree over the next several days, including the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Abel Enrique Esquivel Jr., in the city’s Mission District. Three people were arrested in connection with that shooting, which allegedly occurred during a robbery.
A bullet from a gun stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management agent killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle in July 2015 in San Francisco. Jose Ines Garcia-Zarate, 54, was holding the gun when the bullet hit Steinle but he ultimately was acquitted of murder. Garcia-Zarate, however, is facing new federal charges.
In Oakland, 27-year-old Antonio Ramos was shot and killed in September 2015, with a gun that had been stolen from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent’s car weeks earlier. Police arrested 20-year-old Marquise Holloway in connection with the fatal shooting.
In 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a state law requiring that law enforcement officers store guns in a locked trunk or safe box if they are kept in a vehicle. Civilians were already required to store their weapons securely but law enforcement had previously been exempt.
Also in 2016, San Francisco supervisors passed an ordinance requiring all weapons left in vehicles be secured in a locked trunk or lock box, for both civilians and law enforcement.
-Daniel Montes, Bay City News
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