Lake County sheriff's deputies and U.S. Marshals have located a high powered assault rifle which was stolen out of a Lake County deputy's truck.
The gun was taken from the back seat of Chief Deputy Peyton Grinnell's unmarked pickup truck. It happened at Grinnell's Lady Lake home Saturday night. Deputies said it all started when Grinnell's teenage daughter accidentally left the garage door open.
"The suspect, or suspects, went into the garage, discovered his keys to his department truck, and that's how they were able to access the inside of his truck," said Lt. John Herrell with the Lake County Sheriff's Office.
Grinnell's truck was parked in the driveway, and deputies said once inside, the thief, or thieves, had to know truck belonged to a deputy chief.
"They located his sheriffs' office badge and id, so they saw his credentials," said Herrell. "No doubt, it was a law enforcement vehicle, and they still didn't care. That's pretty bold and brazen."
Investigators aren't sure if Chief Deputy Grinnell was targeted, or whether it was a crime of opportunity. Deputies said there was another home burglarized in the neighborhood around the same time.
When asked about protocol of leaving guns in vehicles and keys hanging in the garage, Herrell responded, "There is no policy that prohibits deputies from leaving their gun in their vehicle, as long as their vehicle is secured, and in this case, it was secured. He was not negligent or irresponsible in any way, shape, or form related to this."
Grinnell was not available for comment on Thursday.