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California

Montebello police realize, four days later, that cruiser with AR-15 inside was stolen

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The Montebello police SUV was stolen from the police department’s public parking lot.

The Montebello Police Department is investigating a vehicle theft that hits rather close to home.

A marked patrol SUV was boosted from a city parking lot last week — along with a loaded AR-15 assault rifle and two loaded shotguns that were inside, authorities said Wednesday.

One of the shotguns was loaded with bean-bag rounds, the other with lethal shot.

Police said all the weapons were locked and secured in the vehicle and all the keys to the SUV have been accounted for.

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The SUV — a black 2018 Ford Explorer with a white roof, white doors and the number “09” painted on the roof, front fenders and rear — was last driven by authorized police personnel around 5 p.m. Thursday. Investigators said the vehicle was taken from the Police Department’s public parking lot around 2:23 a.m. Friday.

Surveillance video shows a masked person entering the vehicle and then driving away about 10 seconds later, police said.

The SUV was not discovered missing for four days, however, when it was assigned to be driven again Tuesday, authorities said.

Other law enforcement agencies have been notified about the missing car, which has a California exempt license plate number of 1429238, Montebello police said.

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Investigators are asking anyone with information about the vehicle to call (323) 887-1313. Callers also can dial 911 on their mobile phone if the cruiser is spotted.

Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or go to www.lacrimestoppers.org.

javier.panzar@latimes.com

@jpanzar


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