INDIANAPOLIS - A fully marked Marion County Sheriff’s jail wagon was struck by thieves overnight on the southeast side of Indianapolis.
A sheriff’s deputy had the brown van parked in his driveway near East Thompson Road and South Arlington Avenue when he found all the doors flung open and the interior lights on Tuesday morning.
He told investigating officers that he wasn’t feeling well and had apparently forgotten to lock the van in his driveway.
Officers wrote in their theft report that the van had been ransacked, and the thieves got away with police gear and one part of an automatic AR15 assault weapon.
The component, known as an AR15 stripped lower receiver, attaches to the spot where ammunition is fed into the rifle when the weapon is fully assembled. It is not capable of firing rounds or functioning as a weapon on its own. The value of the stolen unit was $119, police said.
Also stolen from the van was a sheriff’s tactical raid vest, valued at $100 since it did not contain any armor plating.
The commander of the Marion County Jail, Lt. Col. Gary Tingle, said the raid vest raises concerns about police impersonators using the gear.
"It's something we don't want out there," he said.
The thieves also grabbed nine blue boxes that contain groups of handcuffs and shackles for transporting prisoners. The handcuff boxes were valued at $1,350.
The deputy told investigating officers that his personal car was also in the driveway and it had also been ransacked. He said the thieves swiped his $150 Bosch power drill from inside the Ford Bronco SUV.
After discovering the thefts, the deputy said he recalled seeing a suspicious dark gray car with several teenagers cruising slowly through the neighborhood the night before, but he was unable to provide a thorough description of the car.
The deputy said the drill and the AR15 component belonged to him, but the handcuffs and raid jacket were issued by the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.
Officers reported no leads on finding the thieves.