Investigation underway after rifle stolen from Massachusetts State Police cruiser

MALDEN, Mass. — Authorities have launched an investigation after a trooper’s rifle was stolen from a locked Massachusetts State Police cruiser in Malden overnight.

The department-issued patrol rifle was secured in a mount inside a cruiser that was parked at a residential complex in the city, according to state police.

In a statement, a state police spokesperson said, “Preliminary investigation indicates that forced entry was made into the cruiser.”

State police noted that there is no indication of the rifle being used after the theft.

A law enforcement source told Boston 25 News that the incident appears to have been a “targeted and planned break-in.”

Residents said vehicle break-ins, in general, have not been a problem at Overlook Ridge, a complex that sprawls across two towns, Malden and Revere.

“I’ve been here for six years and we never had any incident like that,” said Cliff Nason.

“There are probably 5-10,000 people that live here,” said Daniel Bolden. “So there’s obviously activity. But I wouldn’t ever consider this neighborhood to be dangerous or anything like that.”

Bolden called the theft a ‘bold move’ given it involved a police cruiser. But, in fact, thefts of guns from vehicles is a common problem in the U.S.

Everytown For Gun Safety, a gun violence-prevention group, analyzed FBI crime data and found that in 2020, guns stolen from cars represented the largest proportion of illegal firearms in the country at 52 percent.

That possibility was on the mind of resident Mike Zaccaria.

“It’s scary separate from my immediate safety,” he said. “It’s like, what are they going to do with that? Is it going to be used for another crime or something?”

There were no additional details immediately available.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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