A thief or thieves stole a Rutherford County Sheriff’s semi-automatic patrol rifle while secured in an off-duty deputy’s marked patrol vehicle over the weekend, the Sheriff’s Office reported.
Deputy Scott Parker, who lives off Old Jefferson Pike near Smyrna, reported he locked the rifle in his vehicle for safe-keeping while his home for sale was being shown to potential buyers, said spokeswoman Lisa Marchesoni. The deputy discovered the missing firearm Sunday and immediately notified the Sheriff’s Office.
“Qualified deputies are issued the rifles to protect the citizens of our county, especially during potentially dangerous situations that could affect the safety of residents and law enforcement officers,” Marchesoni said.
Detectives are working diligently to recover this rifle. They notified the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms because this is a federal crime. The firearm has been entered into the National Crime Information Center database.
ATF is offering a reward up to $1,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the theft. People who have information may call the ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS or Detective Steve Kohler at 615-904-3046.
Rutherford County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward up to $1,000 for the arrest and prosecution of the suspect. People who have information may call Crime Stoppers at 615-893-STOP (893-7867) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Sheriff’s Office is conducting an internal review to determine if weapon storage policies were followed in this situation.