The Secret Service just can’t seem to get a break. A gun, badge, radio, set of handcuffs and flash drive were stolen Monday from a car that belongs to a Secret Service agent who is — or perhaps now, was — charged with protecting the president, CNN reported. The theft is the latest in a string of scandals and embarrassments for the federal agency, which has been rocked by security concerns and a staffing crisis over the past year.
The unidentified agent's car was parked on G Place near the agency’s headquarters in downtown Northwest Washington, and his belongings were allegedly taken around 4 p.m. EST. A police report filed with the Metropolitan Police Department several hours after the incident said the agent noticed the rear window of his car had been “unzipped,” according to CNN. The agent then noticed “a bag with the listed property was taken out of the vehicle,” the report said.
The stolen items include a black Sig Sauer handgun, an APX6000 radio, handcuffs, a USB flash drive, a black Patagonia bag and a Secret Service badge with the number 1266. The agent saw someone reach into his vehicle “but didn’t see him take anything out,” according to the report.
The agent works in the Presidential Protective Division of the Secret Service, a source told CNN Tuesday. Law enforcement officials said the USB drive is encrypted and password-protected, but did not clarify what material is on the drive. They also said the theft does not appear to pose a threat to the agency, according to CNN.
Earlier this month, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a highly critical report on the Secret Service, which it said continues to struggle from a staffing crisis that threatens the agency’s mission. The report detailed several incidents of misconduct and questioned whether the agency’s leadership had been truthful with Congress about the nature of its problems.
It also said that budget-related hiring freezes had left fewer officers protecting the White House in recent years, leading to “significantly overworked” agents with morale at “an all-time low.”