SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Tuesday, Smyrna police were not willing to release any information about the suspect(s) accused of stealing guns and body armor from police cars.
The public learned about the stolen equipment after Mt. Juliet police reported a chase Monday evening involving “heavily armed suspects.”
Roughly two hours later, the city of Smyrna released a statement that said on Sunday, the Smyrna Police Department had three vehicles targeted and burglarized at an officer’s residence. The suspects involved stole police equipment, including armor and firearms.
On Tuesday, Mayor Mary Esther Reed referred News 2 back to the city’s public information officer, who referred us back to Monday’s statement.
“I don’t know why they’re kind of holding it close to the vest. It may be because they’re tracking somebody and don’t want to put it out and let them know that they’re so tight to catching them, which we hope that’s the case,” said Bob Allen, a former law enforcement agent and director of training at Royal Range.
Mt. Juliet police tried to stop the suspect car after a pursuit down Mt. Juliet Road. Police tried to deploy spike strips, but the suspect drove around them and into the Antioch area, prompting authorities to notify Metro police.
News 2 asked Allen how common it was to see guns stolen out of police cars.
“The best answer is it happens more than we’d like, but a lot of officers have gun racks in their vehicles, whether it’s in the trunk or in the passenger compartment, and sometimes that is more secure than actually their locks in their house themselves,” he explained.
Allen warned the public to be cautious of anyone who could be posing as law enforcement.
“If somebody comes up and has a uniform on and goes, ‘Hey, I’m the police,’ you can get those kind of uniforms anywhere, get badges that look like cop badges, so what you want to see is their police ID, not their badge; you want to see their ID that says signed by chief whoever,” Allen said. “You can’t tell an officer’s firearm from one that you would have or I would have, but the uniform is the big deal, just wondering what they plan on doing with that.”
Metro police did confirm to News 2 the suspect vehicle was stolen out of Nashville on Friday, Oct. 27 from the Hickory Hollow Terrace Apartments. The vehicle is a white Hyundai Sonata.