"It's one of the more bold crimes I've seen in my career."
That's the thought of CHP officer Tom Maguire when he talks about what happened at a CHP lot overnight.
The brazen burglar appears to have cut a fence surrounding a California Highway Patrol lot in Martinez, crept past motion-sensor lights and stolen a tactical rifle and ammunition out of a patrol car, CHP Officer Tom Maguire said today.
At about 1:30 a.m. today a patrol sergeant noticed that multiple patrol cars parked in what was thought to be a secure lot at 5001 Blum Road had been entered.
A locked, chain-link fence with barbed wire at the top and key code entry surrounds the lot, but investigators discovered that the burglar had cut a large hole in the fence, Maguire said.
The patrol cars were parked about 50 feet from the office, which is staffed 24 hours a day, but the burglar somehow managed to remain undetected despite motion-sensor lights in the lot.
Investigators believe the break-in occurred sometime between 1:30 a.m. Monday and 1:30 a.m. today, Maguire said.
There was no sign of forced entry to any of the vehicles, Maguire said, but the burglar appears to have broken a lock that secured a Colt Sporter H-Bar semiautomatic tactical rifle inside one of the patrol cars.
The burglar also lifted several rounds of ammunition for the rifle, Maguire said.
Macguire referred to the rife as a Colt Sporter Match H-Bar.
Officers say the rifle is powerful enough to penetrate bulletproof vests.
The rifle has been entered into a national registry list of stolen guns.
Officers said local police agencies and all CHP offices have been advised to check their perimeter fences.
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Martinez CHP office at 925-646-4980 or 800-TELL-CHP.