CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte Division of the FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the recovery of two weapons stolen from a government vehicle.
A shotgun, rifle and body armor were taken from an FBI agent’s vehicle, which was parked in the Hunter Oaks neighborhood off Rea Road in Waxhaw between midnight and 8 a.m. Monday.
Investigators said the agent is part of special response team, and must be ready 24/7 and therefore is authorized to store weapons in his vehicle.
During a press conference Thursday investigators said it was unclear how the suspects broke into the vehicle.
“No windows were broken,” said John Strong, who is the special agent in charge of the Charlotte Division. “The weapons were in individual canvas bags and locked in the trunk, as required by policy.”
The theft marks the third time in just over a year federal weapons have been stolen from an agent’s vehicle.
On Thursday Strong said the FBI would review its policies and procedures following the theft, as is standard protocol.
“We’ve had three thefts in the last 14 months,” confirmed Strong. “One is too many.”
In June 2014 Eyewitness News reported that a handgun and ammunition were stolen from an agent’s car outside a hotel near Ballantyne. Investigators confirmed Thursday they have yet to recover those weapons.
In August 2013 an assault rifle, shot gun and other equipment were stolen from an agent’s car that was parked in the South Park area.
Channel 9 was there when investigators made an arrest in that case and recovered the Colt M-16. The other weapon has yet to be found.
Signs posted throughout the Hunter Oaks neighborhood stated the area was under surveillance. Investigators wouldn’t say if the most recent crime was caught on video.
Channel 9 talked with residents who said they were notified of a rash of car break-ins.
“You don’t want to have it going on in your neighborhood,” said Rob Miller, who lives in the development.
Investigators said this may mean the agent wasn’t targeted but they aren’t ruling out that possibility.
The public should know whoever stole the weapons may not be storing them in plain sight; the weapons and vest were additionally stored inside three separate black canvas bags.
Local police departments are also taking part in the investigation.
In addition to the FBI’s reward of up to $5,000, the person who provides information leading to the recovery of the weapons may also be eligible for a Union County Crime Stoppers reward of up to $1,000.
Anyone with information is asked to call FBI Charlotte immediately at 704-672-6100 or Union County Crime Stoppers at 704-283-5600.