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Patrol rifle stolen from Massachusetts State Police cruiser in Malden

Rifle stolen from Massachusetts State Police cruiser in Malden
Rifle stolen from Massachusetts State Police cruiser in Malden 02:44

MALDEN - A patrol rifle was stolen from a marked State Police cruiser in Malden overnight, police said Thursday. 

The cruiser was locked and parked in a garage at a Malden apartment complex at the time. WBZ-TV I-Team sources said the thieves broke in and stole the rifle and ammunition from a locked compartment inside the SUV. 

WBZ-TV Security Analyst Ed Davis says it's not unusual for some tactical officers to keep their firearms in their vehicles for ready access, but what the intentions are of these thieves raises many more questions.

"That's your fear when you get into an investigation like this. In the back of your mind, you're thinking what's next," Davis said.

The cruiser belongs to a trooper assigned to Logan Airport, sources told the I-Team. 

"At this time we have no indication of the rifle being used subsequent to its theft," State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said in a statement. 

I-Team sources said it "appears to be a professional job." As the cruiser was driven from the garage, and then put on a flatbed, a broken lock was visible on the driver's door.

The State Police cruiser was towed away hours after a rifle was stolen from a locked compartment in the SUV. CBS Boston

Davis says troopers and officers take many steps to secure their firearms, heightening the concern this was a more sophisticated robbery.

"There is usually a process of things to go through to get that thing open," Davis said. "That would indicate inside knowledge of how systems work. That doesn't mean someone within the police agency, but someone who may work in the industry."

People who live at the complex on the Malden-Revere line are worried about the intentions behind the burglary.

"It's surprising, it's a little concerning. It's the first time that I've heard of that happening," resident Cullen Asaro told WBZ-TV. "I hope they find him and take the gun away."

Residents, some of whom were questioned by police, say they've often seen the trooper and it made them feel safer.

"I've always seen him coming and going in uniform," said resident Mike Zaccaria. "It feels good to have a statie around, I never thought much about it."

"Not only that there's a break-in in our neighborhood, but the gall to have it be a police officer as well," said resident Daniel Bolden.  

No other information is available at this point in the investigation. 

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