LCSO issues new gun storage policy following burglary to patrol car

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FORT MYERS, Fla. A new gun storage policy is in place for Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies following a burglary to a patrol car.

The new policy will require deputies to store specialty guns such as automatic weapons or sniper rifles inside of their residence when off-duty, and when their vehicle is not being utilized, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies utilizing rental vehicles will not be allowed to leave these specialty weapons in their patrol cars unattended for an extended period of time, the sheriff’s office said.

Eight weapons were stolen from a patrol car parked outside of a deputy’s home on July 2, according to the sheriff’s office. The deputy noticed the trunk and rear passenger doors were open and when the deputy looked in the trunk, he saw the weapons were missing.

Three teenagers were arrested in connection with the burglary, officials said. All of the weapons were recovered.

The theft of the weapons wasn’t a result of negligence, Undersheriff Carmine Marceno said. Sheriff’s office policy previously allowed deputies to keep weapons in their vehicles overnight, in case they need to get to a crime scene at a moment’s notice.

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