Conflict & Justice

Machine guns stolen from SWAT site



Burak Kara

Submachine guns and handguns belonging to the Los Angeles Police Department were stolen last week from an unguarded, secure building used by the SWAT unit, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The 30 weapons stolen had been altered to only fire blanks, but the guns could be converted back to lethal use, the Associated Press reports. There were 21 machine guns and 12 large caliber handguns were stolen after being moved to a secure building and stored in a lock box on Wednesday, said LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing, the LA Times reports.

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Members of the SWAT unit were scheduled to train at the facility with the weapons on Thursday when an officer arrived at 9 a.m. and found the weapons were missing, the LA Times reports.
It appeared the burglars cut through bolt locks on an outside door and two internal doors and forced their way through a metal roll gate, the AP reports.

"I guess 'secure' is all relative now," said Downing, the LA Times reports. "It's embarrassing.... It's a lesson learned."

While the building was openly used as a SWAT training site, the police have not ruled out the possibility that the theft may have involved police officers, Downing said, according to ABC News.

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"This is a big deal," Downing said, the LA Times reports. "We're concerned. We want to recover them."

Regional law enforcement agencies have been notified, according to ABC News.