State police say that two weapons were stolen from a trooper’s cruiser earlier this month in Oxford County.
Trooper Jonathan Russell parked the marked cruiser overnight in his driveway on Alpine Street in Norway and found on the morning of June 16 that a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun and a state police-issue AR-15 rifle had been stolen, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
Russell reported the burglary immediately, he said.
“There’s a strong possibility that these firearms have been stolen for cash or drugs,” McCausland said Tuesday. “We have found that much of the items that have been stolen in these kinds of burglaries have been stolen for that reason.”
The handgun was recovered from a recent burglary that Russell, a member of Troop B in Gray, had been investigating. Both weapons had been left in the cruiser’s “passenger compartment,” McCausland said.
McCausland said he did not wish to discuss whether the cruiser had been broken into as part of the burglary or was left unlocked. Typically, state police lock their cars upon leaving them, he said.
McCausland asked that anyone with information about the theft of the weapons call state police at 624-7076. He said he had no details on the crime that involved the stolen handgun.
The cruiser burglary appears to be an isolated incident. State police are unaware of any other burglaries in Russell’s neighborhood, McCausland said.
Russell has been a state police officer since 2009, McCausland said.
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