Three handguns and an FBI agent’s badge were stolen early Friday from a locked and alarmed vehicle in the latest such incident in the San Francisco Bay Area, the FBI said.
Two other recent thefts in the area had tragic results after firearms stolen from law enforcement agents’ vehicles were subsequently used in slayings. The spate of incidents since July has prompted proposed state and local legislation.
The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward, but Swankie offered few details about what happened, citing the ongoing investigation.
The agent and vehicle were both assigned to the FBI region headquartered in Sacramento. Although Benicia is about 30 miles northeast of San Francisco, it falls within the Sacramento-based region.
Swankie couldn’t say why the agent was in Benicia, why the weapons and other FBI property were left in the vehicle overnight or whether the agent faces discipline.
Handguns stolen from law enforcement officers’ cars last year were used in the San Francisco killing of 32-year-old Kate Steinle in July and 27-year-old Oakland muralist Antonio Ramos in September.
Steinle was shot in the back as she walked with her father and a family friend along a popular San Francisco pier. Oakland police said Ramos was among artists working on a community mural when he was fatally shot after an apparent argument.