An FBI agent's sniper rifle was stolen from his car in a hotel parking lot in Utah just days before President Obama was scheduled to visit the state, KSTU-TV, Salt Lake City, reported. The theft was pulled off March 27. Obama arrived April 3.
Police said the thief took the weapon out of the agent's parked car, KSTU-TV reported Saturday. The Secret Service confirmed it knew the rifle had been stolen but would not say if it increased security for the visit. The weapon was reportedly stowed and locked down properly inside the agent's vehicle in a hard case.
“The rifle had been secured properly,” Salt Lake City Police Detective Dennis McGowan told KSTU-TV. “A couple of padlocks, chains, it was attached to a truck safe. There are all kinds of ways the weapon was secure. Yet someone was able to forcefully take the weapon.”
A police report obtained by the Salt Lake City television station said the FBI agent had checked into the hotel. The theft occurred overnight after the agent's vehicle window was forcefully torn open.
“I observed the rear right passenger window was shattered and the window frame was pulled out, hanging from the door,” the police report states, according to KSTU-TV. “[The agent] stated his FBI issued sniper rifle was missing, which was in a hard rifle case along with some gear bags, backpacks, clothing and tools.” The stolen FBI rifle has yet to be found.
“We have not recovered the weapon, and we have not identified the person who has taken it yet,” McGowan told KSTU-TV.
This is just the latest in a number of breaches surrounding Obama. The White House has been subject to a number of security lapses, including mentally ill Dominic Adesanya, 23, jumping the White House fence in October, and Omar Gonzalez hopping the White House fence and making it into the building with a knife in September. A California man was recently arrested attempting the scale the fence last Sunday. In perhaps the most serious breach, an armed security contractor was allowed on an elevator with Obama in September.