FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — Authorities in Franklin are investigating after a police car was set on fire and items inside were stolen. Franklin Police officers responded to the report of a vehicle fire in the 2000 block of Turning Leaf Drive Friday morning.
The man who called 911 told 24-Hour News 8 he heard a loud “boom” around 4:30 a.m.
“I immediately woke up and started, you know, checking around the house to see if something had actually had been blown into the house,” said the man, who did not want to be named.
The man went outside to find the car on fire and smoke billowing down his street. He said he was worried it was going to explode and damage houses in the neighborhood. When officers got to the scene they determined the vehicle was a Greenwood Police Department car.
Once the fire was extinguished, police discovered the following items were missing:
- Rock River 16″ M4 rifle with iron sights and two 30 round magazines with ammunition
- HP laptop
- PBT (preliminary breath alcohol measurement instrument)
- Maglite flashlight
Indiana State Police and Franklin Police are working to find out if the person or persons who set the fire had interacted with the officer before, or if this was a random crime. Franklin Detective John Borges said the police car was not stolen, and it was legally parked on the street.
“It’s concerning that anyone would set anyone’s vehicle on fire. It’s even more concerning when it’s a police car,” said Borges.
Neighbors and police are also concerned about the gun that was stolen from the car.
“Any weapon is a danger when it’s in the hands of somebody who is irresponsible or criminal. We try to make sure our weapons are as protected as they can … but in this day in age, criminals are advanced. They do things that are wrong, and it’s pretty hard to keep them from doing things they’re predisposed to do, ” said Borges.
24-Hour News 8 asked how the guns are stored inside the cars.
“Many times they’re secured in racks; it just depends on the agency. And many times they’re secured in racks that are actually steel to lock the weapons in, and many times they’re secured in the trunks. It just depends on the agency. But most of us take the extra steps to do that, and certainly Greenwood police did so in that case as well,” said Borges.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Franklin Police Department at 317-736-3670.