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Posted: 12/31/2003 8:31:18 AM EDT


www.newsandsentinel.com/news/story/1231202003_new04_GunsStolen.asp

Guns stolen from cruiser

By ROGER ADKINS

PARKERSBURG - A city police captain is being investigated and may face disciplinary action after leaving several guns that were police property in his cruiser Monday night, making them an easy target for the thieves who stole them.

Five handguns and two BB guns were removed from Capt. Roger Echard's unmarked police cruiser while it was parked at his Selmar Lane residence off Blennerhassett Heights Road. The thieves broke the glass out of the front driver's side door and damaged the top of the door to gain entry, officials said.

The guns were left in a cardboard box in the rear passenger compartment of the cruiser, said Chief Robert Newell.

The weapons taken were an Intratec .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun, a Taurus .357-magnum revolver, a High Standard .22-caliber revolver, an RG .38-special revolver, an unknown brand .22-caliber revolver and two Daisy BB guns.

Echard is under investigation and may face administrative action, Newell said. No disciplinary action has been taken yet, Newell said.

Newell said he was displeased with Echard's carelessness.

The weapons should not have been left in the passenger compartment of the cruiser, he said.

"It will be reviewed to see if there was something done wrong," Newell said.

"Leaving a box of guns out in the open was incredibly stupid. They should have been in the house or at least locked in the trunk."

The Wood County Sheriff's Office is investigating the break-in because Echard lives outside Parkersburg city limits.

No suspects have been arrested in connection with the break-in.

Echard had taken the guns home after removing them from the property room on the fifth floor of the city building, Newell said. The department's evidence room is a separate storage area located on the third floor of the city building, he said.

The guns were property of the Parkersburg Police Department, but they weren't weapons used by officers. Newell said the guns weren't evidence of any kind, either.

The guns were confiscated by the department in the 1980s. They had no registered owners and were not attached to any pending cases, he said.

Echard wasn't required to log the removal of the guns from the property room, Newell said. It isn't against policy for him to take weapons home because he is in charge of all firearms for the department.

Newell said Echard takes weapons home from time to time if they need maintenance. Though he wasn't initially aware Echard had taken those particular guns home, Newell said Echard later told him it was because he was going to research the value of the firearms.

The department sometimes sells old confiscated and unclaimed firearms to gun dealers in order to acquire money for the purchase of duty weapons for officers or ammunition, Newell said. He said the incident may result in changes to department policy regarding the property room.

It is too early to tell what those changes may be, but an internal investigation is ongoing, he said.

The weapons were fully functional, and now there is potential for them to be recirculated to the public, Newell said. This is disturbing, he said.

"There is always concern when guns are stolen and they're out on the street," Newell said.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:34:38 AM EDT
Geeze, sounds like he has to do more Christmas shopping now...
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:38:06 AM EDT
[b]BB GUNS!!@@#$@[/b] Are those department issue, less than lethal weapons?
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:41:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By fight4yourrights: [b]BB GUNS!!@@#$@[/b] Are those department issue, less than lethal weapons?
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[lol] That's exactly what I was wondering!
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:44:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Airwolf: The weapons taken were an Intratec .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun, a Taurus .357-magnum revolver, a High Standard .22-caliber revolver, an RG .38-special revolver, an unknown brand .22-caliber revolver and two Daisy BB guns.
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Who the hell needs [b]seven[/b] throwndown guns? Was he gonna mistakenly shoot a whole family?
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:45:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2003 8:46:18 AM EDT by Cape_hunter]
Looks like he'll need to get some more throw aways. Fucking stupid ass [s]cop[/s]. CH
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 8:58:38 AM EDT
He was researching the value of the Daisy BB guns? Hmmm, perhaps he was researching them right into his kids bedrooms?
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 9:08:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FLAL1A: [Who the hell needs [b]seven[/b] throwndown guns? Was he gonna mistakenly shoot a whole family?
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Dam, thats one cop you don't get smart with! You just take your ticket and smile. [:D]
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 9:10:42 AM EDT
Tin foil anyone??? Anyway, nice job Chief Wiggum.[slap]
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 12:30:06 PM EDT
Wow, incompitance and unprofessionalism at several levels. If he has a take home car, he should have it in the garage. If he doesnt have a garage, he doesnt get a take home car. Guns shouldnt be left anywhere but in a locking weapons rack or in the locked truck. Nothing should be removed from a LE agency property room without being signed out. No controlled item, guns, drugs, cash, radios, NVGs, should ever be taken home, or kept out past the end of your shift. Sounds like this agency needs a major rewrite of their OPM.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 12:43:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AR15fan: Wow, incompitance and unprofessionalism at several levels. If he has a take home car, he should have it in the garage. If he doesnt have a garage, he doesnt get a take home car. Guns shouldnt be left anywhere but in a locking weapons rack or in the locked truck. Nothing should be removed from a LE agency property room without being signed out. No controlled item, guns, drugs, cash, radios, NVGs, should ever be taken home, or kept out past the end of your shift. Sounds like this agency needs a major rewrite of their OPM.
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I wouldnt go as far to make such blanket statements, specifically about "controlled" items. I keep T/A's in my trunk: 50g's of ME, BTH, HE and a pound of MJ. They are assigned to me, the same as my duty weapons are and are kept as secure. Take home cars (again, considering the "communtiy") can be of benefit when parked in front of the home. Those days are ending, but there are some areas where it is still done and has an "effect". Not that any of the above applies in this story, but I think making a blanket statement condemning all isnt appropriate. Wow, a PD that still sells seized guns to dealers? Thats rare.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 12:50:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AR15fan: Wow, incompitance and unprofessionalism at several levels. If he has a take home car, he should have it in the garage. If he doesnt have a garage, he doesnt get a take home car. Guns shouldnt be left anywhere but in a locking weapons rack or in the locked truck. Nothing should be removed from a LE agency property room without being signed out. No controlled item, guns, drugs, cash, radios, NVGs, should ever be taken home, or kept out past the end of your shift. Sounds like this agency needs a major rewrite of their OPM.
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My department by policy REQUIRES take home cars to be parked visible from the street.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 12:50:23 PM EDT
Scumbags nowadays don't give a shit if it's a police car or a short yellow bus. Criminals are becoming more and more dangerous by the day. In 10 years cops will be driving Bradleys.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 12:55:37 PM EDT
SOUNDS like he was in charge of any and all weapons.. so he answered to no one... wonder what a full inventory of the property room firearms will reveal... I wonder what his signon name is over on gunbroker ;) .. Man knew excatly what firearms would not be missed ..
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 1:15:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2003 1:19:13 PM EDT by AR15fan]
Originally Posted By Lumpy196: My department by policy REQUIRES take home cars to be parked visible from the street.
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Wow. We definately work in different worlds. Your policy both broadcast to the world where the cop lives, but also when he is home or away. Plus it leaves 40K worth of vehicle and equipment subject to theft and vandalism. Only our K9s, investigators, Lt's & above have take home cars, and they must be locked in a garage. If you dont have a garage they can be parked at a [b]staffed[/b] fire station, or inside the perimeter fence of a branch jail, close to your home.
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 1:24:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2003 1:34:29 PM EDT by Lumpy196]
If you leave town for more than 48hrs, you have to put it in the city lot. If you think someone that seriously CARES doesnt know where you live...
Link Posted: 12/31/2003 3:34:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2003 3:38:26 PM EDT by AR15fan]
We all have briefing at a central location, gear up, then drive to our assigned patrol areas. It takes me about 15 mins at the start of every shift, and 15 mins at the end of every shift to inspect the patrol car and check out/in equipment. Driving to your assigned area takes 1-15 mins depending on area. Get gas on the way out if needed. Gas on the way back per policy. We have 5 different shift start times. each car is used by two shifts (driven 22 hours a day). A car used by early days will likely go back out on mids. A car used by Swings will go back out with days or late days. Cars get used 7 days a week. I cant imagine giving take home cars to everyone. What local govt can afford 8,000 cars? We have vandalisms of [b]on duty patrol[/b] cars. Park the car, go inside to take burglary report, 15 mins later all four tires are flat and windows smashed out. Happens about once a week. A patrol car parked infront of an off duty cops house wouldnt stand a chance, unless the cop wants to sit on his porch gaurding the car instead of living his life. Shotguns are locked in the crusisers, which are parked in a gated lot. Patrol rifles are inside the armory, double locked. Duty weapons are in the locker or on your hip. Radios, car keys, PVS, tapes, gas cards, PAS, Digital Camera, ect are all turned into the equipment cage.
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