Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dozens of DPS weapons, property missing

Updated: Thursday, 04 Nov 2010, 10:23 PM CDT
Published : Thursday, 04 Nov 2010, 10:23 PM CDT

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Pistols, revolvers, and shotguns are among 22 weapons stolen and still missing from the Department of Public Safety in the last two years.

On October 18th, a state police officer called 911 to report his DPS issued truck stolen from his Northwest Austin gated apartment complex. A pistol and a rifle issued by DPS were inside the stolen truck, along with a DPS laptop.

"That is often a more significant situation, frankly, than the guns," said Texas criminal justice blogger, Scott Henson. "Losing data on a laptop could compromise investigations, put undercover officers at risk."

Also inside the truck stolen in October was a DPS badge, radios, and a bullet proof vest, which have not been recovered. The truck was recovered several days later in South Austin but several items inside were missing.

In all, the Department of Public Safety reports 22 weapons stolen in the last two years from cities across Texas, including four in Austin. The pistols, rifles, and shotguns are worth nearly $10,000.

A DPS spokesperson issued this statement to Austin News, saying, “The Department of Public Safety has more than 12,000 firearms, valued at approximately $9.1 million. Although our commissioned officers exert the utmost care in protecting their firearms, occasionally firearms are stolen, either from their vehicles or their residences. In the past two years, only 20 firearms valued at $9,744.00 have been stolen. These firearms will remain in the National Crime Information Center computer database as stolen weapons until they are recovered.”


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