Man Stole Fort Smith Police Weapons, Tactical Bag

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Police are searching for a suspect accused of stealing an officer's weapons from his personal vehicle last week.

Fort Smith police said at about 10:40 p.m. Friday (Aug. 17) a white or Hispanic man stole a semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, and at least one magazine was taken. Corporal Anthony Rice says it was a patrol-issued rifle.

The handgun was the officer's police badge was also taken. Rice says the police department does have policies that involve the securing of firearms. But he didn't want to get into specifics. We also asked him if the officer's vehicle door was unlocked before the items were stolen.

"Due to the nature of the administrative inquiry about this incident, I don't think it's appropriate for me to answer that question right now," said Corporal Rice.

The officer had already worked a shift and was doing paperwork at the time the theft occurred, according to Rice.

The vehicle was parked was parked in the Courtyard by Marriot Downtown on Rogers Avenue.

The officer's name is not being released right now because he's under internal review.

Corporal Rice says what happens to him hinges on the review and is ultimately up to the police chief.

The man was checking door handles in the parking lot and might have been wearing a red jacket. Police said he was possibly seen leaving in a white passenger car.

The suspect could be facing felony theft charges.

Anyone with more information is asked to call police at 479-709-5100 or contact Crimestoppers at 78-Crime. A reward of up to $1,000 is possible for information leading to an arrest.