Sniper rifle stolen from SWAT member’s unlocked vehicle found, cops say

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office

Investigators say they have found a sniper rifle stolen from a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office detective’s unlocked vehicle and arrested an 18-year-old in connection with the incident.

Detectives found the rifle, an Accuracy International AT 308, early Thursday, according to a news release from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

David E. Byrd, 18, was arrested and charged in connection with the burglary, according to the sheriff’s office. He faces two counts of grand theft of law enforcement equipment, two counts of dealing in stolen property and one count of tampering with evidence.

Detective Brian Keane left his agency vehicle unlocked overnight at his North Port home and sometime between Monday and Tuesday, several items, including the rifle, were stolen from the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office.

Keane’s duty 9mm pistol and “items of significance” was also recovered Thursday afternoon, according to the sheriff’s office.

Keane was also on the SWAT team and had specialty weapons in his vehicle, and reported several pieces of specialized equipment stolen.

Investigators said Thursday they “feel confident they have identified all parties involved in the burglary.”

The investigation is ongoing.

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