MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An off-duty Minneapolis police officer was himself the victim of a crime that’s a big cause for concern.
It happened two days before Thanksgiving, when the officer’s personal vehicle was broken into and thieves ran off with a black duffel bag.
But it’s what was in that duffel bag that has the department on alert and working to catch whoever’s responsible.
Not only did they steal the officer’s gun, but dozens of rounds of ammunition.
Police have reason to believe that gun and other gear taken in the theft may now be in the hands of some Minneapolis street gang members.
That’s because a suspect found with evidence linked to the crime is an admitted gang member, as is his 15-year-old brother.
Minneapolis police officer Bryan Castle was using his personal truck, which he parked in the lot of a Walgreens store on Ford Parkway in St. Paul.
But on the afternoon of Nov. 26 when Castle returned to his truck, he soon realized the vehicle had been broken into and missing was a black duffel bag.
Inside that bag was the officer’s light blue uniform, complete with an MPD badge, pants and a turtleneck.
Worse yet, the officer’s .45-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun was gone, along with three loaded magazines and 37 rounds of ammunition.
Thieves also stole miscellaneous police documents and a set of door keys to the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct.
A break in the case came later that day when police pulled over a stolen car at 10th Avenue South and East 21st Street. The vehicle had been reported stolen in Hopkins the previous day.
Behind the wheel, officers arrested a 17-year-old boy who is a suspected member of the Baby 10’s street gang.
Inside the car they found documents that had been taken from Castle’s vehicle.
A search warrant was executed at the boy’s home at 38th and Snelling Avenue South in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, neither the officer’s gun, ammunition or police uniform were recovered. They are still missing.
The 17-year-old suspect admitted to driving the stolen vehicle and he remains in custody.
But according to police, when they questioned him about the missing uniform and gun, he wouldn’t talk about it but became very nervous.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Minneapolis police.