SFPD reviewing protocol for firearms in vehicles after stolen rifle recovered in Oakland

The Police Department is investigating its policy of locking weapons in unattended vehicles after Saturday’s swiping of a semi-automatic rifle from an unmarked car.

The AR-15 rifle was stolen about 9 p.m. from the trunk of a police car that was parked and locked in the South of Market area, police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said. The officers using the vehicle were working nearby when the theft occurred, Andraychak said.

The officers assigned to the burglarized vehicle did not appear to break any rules, Andraychak said.

“From what I see, they locked the vehicle and they secured the weapon appropriately,” he said.

Even so, Andraychak said, the department will examine whether any changes need to be made to ensure police weapons don’t land in the wrong hands.

“As part of the investigation, we will also be looking at our policies and procedures,” Andraychak said.

After warning the public Sunday and launching a search, police announced Monday night that the weapon had been recovered from a home in East Oakland.

Several people were detained at the residence in the 1300 block of 88th Avenue, Andraychak said. Though they were still being questioned Tuesday, they had not been charged.

Police have said little about the weapon’s recovery, citing an active investigation.

Investigators “obtained information” that led them to Oakland, Andraychak said. Then the Oakland Police Department reportedly staked out the 88th Avenue home and went inside once they had established probable cause.

San Francisco police are investigating why the car was targeted;  investigators won’t mention the car’s make or model, but say it is not your typical cop car.

“The average person would not have known it was a police vehicle,” Andraychak said, adding that the weapon was not visible from outside the car.

AR-15s are issued to specially trained officers who might need to respond to incidents such as a barricaded suspect, Andraychak said.


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