Thief steals rifle, ammunition from police cruiser in Pembroke Pines

PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - Authorities are searching for a person who, they said, stole a rifle and several other dangerous items from a police car in Pembroke Pines, early Tuesday morning.

According to Pembroke Pines Police, the subject approached an unlocked Opa-locka Police cruiser that was parked outside a home in the Sunswept community, near Taft and 86th Avenue, just before 3 a.m.

He got away with a Taser, an assault rifle and lots of ammunition.

“This is a very brazen burglar,” said Pembroke Pines Police Capt. Al Xiques, “to remove items from within, spending several minutes doing so.”

Home security cameras captured the crook in the act. Surveillance video shows the subject, wearing a T-shirt, walking up to the police car, opening the passenger door and diving right in.

Officials said he came back three times to loot the police cruiser.

“The person walks up to the cop car and opens the trunk and takes a gun,” said Xiques. “He then takes it and puts it in his car, then goes back to the front seat and takes a police vest.”

The thief also somehow gained access inside the trunk of the police car.

“In the police vehicles, what we’ve done is we’ve disabled the trunk from the inside,” said Dobson, “so you actually need a key to open the trunk, and we are in possession of the key and the spare key here at the police department.”

The subject then got away with a tactical vest, a 16-round magazine for a .45 and an AR-15 with three loaded magazines for it.

“Our main concern is we don’t want that weapon on the streets,” said Opa-locka Police Chief James Dobson, “so if another officer or anything encounters these individuals with those weapons, we want them off the streets.”

According to investigators, the same subject may have stolen another weapon that night as well.

“This suspect was involved in numerous vehicle burglaries that happened within the same neighborhood around the same time frame where at least one additional firearm was also stolen,” said Xiques.

The subject is considered armed and dangerous, according to police, who said they don’t know what he’s capable of.

“Had he been encountered by a victim or a police officer, this could’ve been a very dangerous encounter,” said Xiques.

According to police, the subject stands around 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs about 160 pounds and has a sleeve tattoo.

If you have any information on this theft, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

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