BARRIE — A 17-year-old boy who went car-hopping through vehicles in the middle of the night “panicked” when he found more loot than he expected — a semi-automatic rifle and 180 rounds of ammo, a bail hearing was told yesterday.
The gun and ammunition were in the backseat of a police officer’s unlocked car, court heard.
The teenager, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is facing theft and firearm charges.
Court heard the semi-automatic rifle went missing from the officer’s vehicle sometime between April 16 and 20. On April 20 a media advisory went out asking the public for any tips as to the whereabouts of the rifle.
On Tuesday an anonymous tip came in, and police went to a home where they found the weapon stashed under basement stairs and the ammunition in a bedroom.
In court yesterday the clean-cut teen sat in the prisoner’s box while his father took the stand as a surety.
He told court his son admitted going through cars looking for loot that night with a friend, but when they removed the rifle in a canvas case from the unmarked police car and smuggled it through his basement bedroom window, they were shocked to discover it was a gun and ammo.
“When they realized, they just panicked,” the father said. “They discussed digging a hole and hiding it or throwing it in the lake.”
Court heard the teen was already out on bail for being intoxicated in a public place and being caught with a half a marijuana joint in a cigarette pack in his back pocket.
While the Crown asked the teen be held in custody, defence lawyer Angela McLeod insisted that the police officer is to blame.
LEFT IN BACKSEAT
“My client was merely car-hopping, he wasn’t looking for a gun” she said.
“It’s a serious matter that a police officer left a gun on the backseat of a car — not in the garage, not even in the driveway — but parked on the street overnight and left it unlocked,” the lawyer said.
Justice of the Peace Gerry Solursh agreed.
“If it weren’t for the fact that it was a police car left out in the open, the Crown might have something to hang its hat on,” Solursh said.
He ordered the teen released from custody and to remain in his parents’ home unless he is with his father. He will be back in court June 9.
OPP Sgt. Pierre Chamberland said he could not comment on whether the officer has been reprimanded. “We are just relieved the gun is off the street.”
Don’t hold your breath on that rifle being paraded in a photo-op and judging by the “relief”? No charges for the negligent policeman either.
Now. If he had been a civilian? There would be crowing, back-slapping and more calls from do-nothing-unless-it-makes-the-rest-of-the-firearms-owners-community-look-bad politicians.
I’ll bet that the Coalition for Gun Control and the “Mad Mothers” will be conspicuously silent as well and not demand for the banning of police possession of firearms.
Only police and soldiers should have guns. Right?
TSK TSK TSK. All responsible owners make an effort to secure their firearms.
Bad cop. No doughnut.
UPDATE: A source indicates that a call was put out to some local radio stations when the rifle was discovered missing .
It was apparently described as a “C8”
Diemaco (Colt Canada) C8
“…Adopted as the C7, this rifle combined features from both earlier M16A1 rifles, such as full automatic fire mode and a two-position flip-up diopter sight, and from the newest M16A2, such as heavy barrel, rifled with faster 1:7 twist, better suited for 5.56mm NATO ammunition. Latter on, Diemaco (now Colt Canada) developed a short-barreled carbine version, fitted with telescoped buttstock, which was designated the C8. While the C7 rifle went to the Canadian armed forces, the C8 is in use with Canadian police forces….”
“…Court heard the semi-automatic rifle went missing from the officer’s vehicle sometime between April 16 and 20. On April 20 a media advisory went out asking the public for any tips as to the whereabouts of the rifle….”
Kept in an unlocked vehicle for 4 days, a Restricted class rifle (certainly) or possibly a Prohibited class rifle if it was a SAFE/AUTO internals??? In a canvas bag…
That article is interesting. There is nothing to indicate that the teen broke into/cut either the bag or the lock. just that they removed it. Nothing to indicate anything about a trigger lock either.
In a police officer’s UNLOCKED car.
“…OPP still missing a rifle.
Barrie Police officers are helping the OPP after a semi-automatic Colt rifle was stolen from a police vehicle. The Colt, model CQB is camouflaged and also taken were four 30-round magazines of 5.56 mm ammunition. The vehicle travel in the Barrie, Collingwood and Toronto area. Police are still investigating
Colt Canada CQB
Constable? Thank you for doing the thankless job you do.
BUT. For the crap firearms owners endure from the anti-gun types saying we shouldn’t own firearms like this or at least a civilian variant? You pooched it large and perhaps you should feel the heat a civilian would feel. Perhaps excessive scrutiny and a heaping helping of restrictive regulations from the unelected body known as the CFO would serve as a “wake up”.
Pour encourager les autres.
I’m sure that the other members of police services would just love that ON TOP of the civilian restrictions they face if they participate in the shooting sports in their “off” time. The policemen I’ve shot with off duty are pretty good sorts. They don’t need the excess crap.
Perhaps all police should be relieved of their firearms. That wouldn’t work well though for it’s absurdity. They would then be as defenseless against criminals as citizens are…
…and we all know criminals don’t register their guns and spend the time getting licenses and joining CFO approved ranges.
And another thing. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Coalition for Gun Control (Wendy Cukier) and the rest of the anti-freedom crowd are harping that Bill C-301 would allow machine guns to go through neighbourhoods.
Well FRICKIN DUH! Here we a have a car driven through a neighbourhood and parked and left unattended with, if it has the full-auto internal operating mechanisms, a MACHINE GUN.
It seems that machine guns go through your neighbourhoods daily and no one bats an eye. Past schools, churches, shopping malls, soup kitchens, basketball courts, skateboard parks, etc…
Remind me again please WHO lost their machine gun and WHO is supposedly the problem with owning, collecting and shooting machine guns?
First WHO? The police.
Second WHO? Civilians.
Yeah. Civilian firearms owners are the problem…
CACP’s house is burning down and they are too busy looking in your window to notice the fire.