MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police are looking for the person who took a loaded rifle from inside a Ramsey County Sheriff deputy’s vehicle.

An AR-15 rifle was taken last Friday while the car was parked inside a parking garage in St. Louis Park. Now, it’s somewhere on the streets of the Twin Cities.

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The theft happened on Jan. 6 sometime between 12:45 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The car was parked inside a parking garage on Utica Avenue in St. Louis Park, right around the corner from the Shoppes at West End.

According to St. Louis Park police, the loaded rifle was locked inside the car. The thief got inside by removing the door handle. Investigators say the AR-15 with a loaded magazine was then pried from its secured, locked rifle mount, which was severely damaged.

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The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office says the public is the victim of this crime. Spokesperson John Eastham says the deputy was on shift at the time of the theft and was attending a work-related class in St. Louis Park.

St. Louis Park Police are investigating the crime. Detectives hope security video from inside the parking garage will help them solve the crime. They make it clear that finding the stolen AR-15 is top priority.

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s deputy who had the rifle stolen faces no disciplinary action in connection with the incident.

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Spokesperson John Eastham says theft of weapons are very uncommon. He and others in law enforcement are on the lookout for the weapon and the person who took it.

Reg Chapman