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Bay Area Law Enforcement Search for Stolen Police Weapons, Ammunition

Law enforcement officers across the Bay Area are on the lookout for stolen police weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Authorities said a shotgun, rifle, ammunition, Kevlar vest and FBI jacket were stolen from an unmarked San Mateo County Sheriff's Department vehicle in San Francisco on Friday night. The vehicle was assigned to a deputy from San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and was on loan to the FBI's joint terrorism task force.

Investigators will not disclose if the deputy was on or off duty when the incident occurred. NBC Bay Area on Monday learned the San Mateo County employee is temporarily suspended from the FBI task force he was serving on while authorities investigate.

The incident is the fourth time in three months thieves have stolen weapons from a Bay Area law enforcement official's vehicle.

The unmarked vehicle in Friday's incident was stationed along the 100 block of Jones Street in the Tenderloin District when it was broken into just after 10 p.m.

It is not known if the weapons were locked and secured inside the trunk, but NBC Bay Area has been told FBI policy is that the guns should be. In addition, the inside trunk latch should be disabled.

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has learned the special agent in charge of the FBI issued an notice in the San Francisco bureau that if you are assigned to a task force, you are not to store weapons in vehicles that do not have a lock box without the express approval of the special agent in charge.

"It is pure negligence. How many people have to die? How many more killings will there be?" said State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo. "Crimes will be committed because of weapons left in law enforcement vehicles."

Two people have been killed with stolen police guns and Hill said if the rules aren't followed, tougher sanctions for officers may be needed.

Hill wrote last year's bill that required officers to lock down their weapons in unattended vehicles. The bill was written for handguns, but he said the same principles should apply to long guns.

Anyone with information regarding the recent  incident is encouraged to call the San Francisco Police Department's tip line at 415-575-4444.

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