Rifle, shotgun stolen from Hamilton County deputy's unmarked car

CINCINNATI -- A Hamilton County Sheriff's Office district commander was given verbal counseling after firearms and other equipment were stolen from his unmarked take-home car.

The stolen items include a Colt AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, a Remington shotgun, a tactical vest, five AR-15 magazines, cases for the guns and a pocket trauma kit, according to a police incident report.

Lt. Tory Smith is the commander of district three, which includes Symmes and Sycamore townships. Smith didn't learn of the theft until he arrived at the sheriff's training facility on Aug. 21 and opened the trunk, but the police report indicates the items could have been stolen as early as July 6.

Smith was assigned the rifle and shotgun as part of the sheriff's heavy weapons unit.

Lt. David Daugherty said it was "unusual" for the discovery to take that long. Department policy calls for vehicles to be locked while unattended. That apparently wasn't the case. Also, the policy states the person assigned to a vehicle is responsible for checking all equipment in it daily. That wasn't done.

Smith received verbal counseling for leaving his vehicle unlocked.

"It happened, and it shouldn't have happened," Daugherty said.

The police report indicates there was no forced entry into the car, so how did someone get into the trunk? Most sheriff's cruisers are equipped with safeguards to prevent anyone from pushing a button to pop the trunk unless the vehicle is running. For some reason, Smith's vehicle didn't have that feature. 

Hamilton County detectives are handling the investigation. The top priority is to get those weapons back, according to Daugherty. 

Smith and other sheriff's office authorities declined to comment about the case on camera.

Authorities asked anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.

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