Weapon stolen from Pitco sheriff’s deputy | AspenTimes.com

Weapon stolen from Pitco sheriff’s deputy

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

A gun was stolen from a Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy in June, according to a Lakewood Police Department report.

Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis said the crime may lead to a new policy on how deputies handle their weapons.

Braudis said Deputy Michael Kendrick was in Lakewood for paramedic recertification when the crime occurred. According to a report prepared by Lakewood police, Kendrick’s gun belt with his Glock 23C pistol was stolen out of his patrol car in the early morning of June 14.

Lakewood police were dispatched to the La Quinta Inn and Suites at 4:53 a.m. on June 14 when a white Jeep Cherokee with a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office logo on it was reported broken into. According to the report, police found Kendrick’s identification in plain view in the vehicle and contacted hotel management to wake up Kendrick, who was staying in the hotel.

Kendrick told Lakewood authorities that the items missing from his vehicle included a Motorola radio, his gun, two 13-round magazines for the gun, a canister of pepper spray, a Motorola digital pager, one pair on handcuffs, 27 “Holopoint” rounds of ammunition and a sweatshirt.

According to the report, the left rear window of Kendrick’s patrol vehicle was smashed out, allowing the suspect to unlock and open the door. Investigators were able to lift a fingerprint from the driver’s-side rear window.

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Kendrick told police he had locked his vehicle before the crime occurred. He did not return calls for comment.

“Whenever an event like this occurs, it does and should generate discussion leading to a higher level of security for weapons,” Sheriff Braudis said.

He said Deputy Kendrick was a victim of a crime, and the sheriff’s office is looking into a policy that will eliminate the crime from occurring again.

“In my discussion with Michael, he told me he had the choice of leaving [the gun belt] in his hotel room or in his car, and he elected to leave it in his car,” Braudis said.

“There are ways to lock a gun to the interior structure of a car. I would have preferred that option would have been exercised.”

Braudis would not comment on any disciplinary actions he made concerning the incident, saying it is a personnel matter.

According to the Lakewood police report, there is a suspect named in the first-degree criminal trespassing case: a white male about six feet tall with short, spiked blonde hair and a medium build. No arrests have been made in the case.

Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com.