Gilroy Police Department Chief Scot Smithee confirmed Thursday his gun, badge, city-issued laptop, and personal truck were stolen.
Smithee said the incident happened outside a Modesto Junior College graduation on April 27. The chief told NBC Bay Area his service weapon was not in a locked case, which has been required in California since 2016.
The incident occurred while Smithee was attending the graduation of a family member and said he parked in a highly-visible parking spot. There was security at the venue checking bags and purses.
"My concern was if I get challenged at the gate and they make me go back to my car, basically other people are going to hear that I have a gun and I've got to go put it back in my car," Smithee said.
The chief has asked the City Manager to bring in a third party to determine "appropriate course of action." Smithee said he wants to be transparent and consistent in case this happens with one of his officers in the future.
"I have to make sure that whatever the consequence is for me is going to be consistent with whatever it would be for somebody else in the futer," Smithee said. "Otherwise, I have no credibility."
Modesto police recovered his truck and made an arrest three days later. However, Smithee said they have not recovered any other items.
Louis Grubeck Jr, 36, is identified by police as the suspect.