Generally, stealing from the police isn’t a great idea. But so far, a Florida man has gotten away with nabbing equipment, including an AR-15 rifle and ammunition, right out from under their noses.
Florida police are searching for the suspect, who’s on the loose with the powerful rifle that he lifted along with three fully loaded magazines. The man might not get far, however, because surveillance cameras caught him stealing the equipment out of a marked Opa Locka Police Department patrol vehicle.
The cop car was parked in a neighborhood driveway, according to the Pembroke Pines Police Department, when the man broke into it around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. It didn’t take much effort to get inside the vehicle; it was unlocked at the time.
The video shows the man walk up to the police vehicle, open the passenger door and start unloading equipment, such as a tactical vest with police markings.
He is also caught on camera going through the police car’s trunk. The footage shows him make three trips to his car, including one time when he’s carrying the rifle. The suspect also made off with a Taser and cartridges, plus a 16-round, .45-caliber magazine, according to police.
Other vehicles were broken into around the same area Tuesday morning, and the the Pembroke Pines police believe the man on the surveillance video was also responsible for those transgressions.
The suspect has been described by police as a light-skinned black or Hispanic male. He is roughly 5-foot-10, weighs about 160 pounds and sports a full-sleeve tattoo on his right arm.
The day before the Opa Locka police had equipment stolen out of one their parked cars, the department published a post on its Facebook page entitled “Holiday Safety Tip.” The post read: “The holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime,” and then went on to list numerous safety tips.
The irony was not lost on one Facebook user, who commented: “It help that this should also be advise and applied to police Officers leaving their cars unlocked when parked at home that sad and irresponsible. It’s frustrating to see how easy he got into the Opa Locka Officers car and a free AR 15 now on the streets.”