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Guns stolen from Tate County deputy’s vehicle

SENATOBIA, Miss. -- The Tate County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help recovering a deputy’s stolen gear.

Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance made is clear Thursday he’s frustrated.

"You would think it would go without saying that you need to tell professional law enforcement officers to secure their weapons to keep them out of the wrong hands, but unfortunately that’s where we are," explained Lance.

An AR-15, a Glock 9 mm pistol, duty belt and other belongings were stolen from a deputy out of his unmarked truck sometime last Wednesday night.

The deputy works with a US Marshals task force and has been with the Tate County Sheriff’s Office about 10 years.

Lance said there’s no evidence someone forced their way into the vehicle.

It’s unclear where the truck was when it was burglarized, but it was most likely while it was parked at his Senatobia home overnight  in a subdivision off Norfleet.

The deputy didn’t notice the items were missing until after he ran some errands.

Senatobia Police searched a field off Norfleet, near the deputy’s house in case the thieves had possibly ditched some of the items because the same deputy had the same weapons stolen about a year ago. His computer that was stolen that time was found in the field.

"Difference this time is that last time just within a matter of a couple of days we had the weapons back and the people that stole them matter of fact they’ve already been prosecuted," said Lance.

The sheriff acknowledged it’s not just the guns on the street that’s troubling; gear in the wrong hands is a problem too, including a ceramic-plated bulletproof vest.

"I wouldn’t say it would make a person totally bulletproof, but they would be pretty close.”

Concerned residents WREG talked to have questions.

"It almost makes you think, is it somebody who knows him or is watching?" said Senatobia resident Valerie Mitchell.

Lance says in marked squad vehicles, guns are automatically secured. In this case, an unmarked truck, extra precautions needed to be taken.

Now his office and Senatobia Police need your help tracking down the thieves.

Lance said there will be repercussions  for the deputy.

"There will be disciplinary action. This is a very serious matter and something that could’ve been avoided and it wasn’t.”

The sheriff has not determined what the punishment will be.

If you have information, remember you can report it completely anonymously to Tate County Crime Stoppers — 662-301-1111 A tip that leads to the recovery of the gear could mean a reward of up to $1,000.