San Francisco police increase trunk safety on unmarked vehicles following rifle theft 

click to enlarge AR-15 rifles are issued to specially trained officers who might need to respond to incidents such as a barricaded suspect, police said. - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images File Photo
  • AR-15 rifles are issued to specially trained officers who might need to respond to incidents such as a barricaded suspect, police said.

Trunks on unmarked San Francisco police cars can no longer be opened from the inside following the recent theft of a semi-automatic rifle from one of the vehicles.

Police Chief Greg Suhr told the Police Commission last week that all the trunk releases have been disabled on unmarked vehicles since the March 2 burglary that temporarily robbed the department of an AR-15 assault rifle.

“It was a window-smash, and we believe they accessed the trunk release,” Suhr told the commission Wednesday.

Suhr also said the East Oakland home where the gun was recovered March 4 contained a second stolen AR-15 rifle. The second weapon did not belong to the SFPD, Sgt. Michael Andraychak said Friday.

The rifle was stolen about 11 p.m. while the car was parked and locked in the 1000 block of Mission Street, between Sixth and Seventh streets, Suhr said. At the time of the theft, he said, plainclothes officers who had parked the car were nearby conducting surveillance.

SFPD warned the public after the theft, but have said little about what led investigators to the 88th Avenue home in Oakland. The Oakland Police Department reportedly staked out the residence and went inside once they had established probable cause.

Several people were detained, Suhr said, and the gun, along with other property that was taken from the trunk, was recovered.

At the commission meeting, Suhr thanked Oakland police for the assistance, saying there was a “tireless” effort between the two departments’ plainclothes officers to solve the case.

Investigators have not mentioned the burglarized car’s make or model, but Andraychak said the average person would not have known it was a police vehicle.

AR-15 rifles are issued to specially trained officers who might need to respond to incidents such as a barricaded suspect, Andraychak said.

No arrests were reportedly made in connection with the theft.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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