Deputies: M16 rifle, ammunition stolen from police vehicle in Lake County

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — Burglars stole a M16-A2 rifle, loaded magazines and bulletproof vests overnight from an unmarked Howey-in-the-Hills police SUV, the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.

The thieves broke a window of the vehicle, which was parked at Howey-in-the-Hills police Lt. Richard Roman's home in a neighborhood along David Walker Drive, Lake County Sgt. Jim Vachon said.

Investigators said they believe the burglary happened sometime between 9 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday.

"We don't like any stolen fire arms being on the streets," Vachon said. "We want to get this rifle back for the Howey-in-the-Hills Police Department as quickly as possible."

Though the vehicle was locked, it's unknown if the case containing the gun was locked, Vachon said. But he said the weapon was stored in accordance with department policy.

"Our intelligence unit is also working with us to get the word out," Vachon said. "It's very fresh, so I don't know if we have any hot leads yet."

No other vehicles in the neighborhood were burglarized, deputies said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Sheriff's Office or Crimeline at 800-423-8477.