Thieves break into Seattle police detective's car, steal bullets

RENTON, Wash. -- Serious questions are being raised after a Seattle police detective had several pieces of law enforcement equipment -- including his police radio and a clip loaded with 15 bullets -- stolen from his SUV.

Now those bullets are on the streets and some are wondering if the detective violated police policy.

The detective told Renton police he parked his SUV at the Regional East Valley Movie Theater last Wednesday night. When he returned, he found the front passenger and rear driver's side windows smashed out.

According to a police report, the thieves made off with a bag that contained a police issued radio, paperwork and a clip to the detectives Glock semi-automatic handgun, which was filled with 15 rounds.

Renton police say several other cars were also broken into that night, but they've yet to track down any suspects.

Opinions in Renton are divided on whether the detective should shoulder some of the blame for the incident. Some say he should have known better and kept the clip is safer place, while others say he did nothing wrong.

A spokesman from the Seattle Police Department said an internal investigation found "there were no department violations and the detective notified his chain of command, per policy."

But the policy also says all officers are responsible for their own equipment.

"You're responsible for all your city-issued equipment, like your radio, like your gun, like you vest," said interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel.

Pugel said officers are trained to secure their equipment, and the police manual says, "other than assigned lockers, most areas of the workplace should be considered unsecured."