Weapons, stolen law enforcement gear stolen from Atlanta police officer's personal vehicle

A car thief made a big haul when he popped the lock to a car in a northwest Atlanta lot. 

What is especially troubling for Atlanta police is that the thief got into an officer's car.

The theft occurred in a shopping center along Howell Mill Road. 

Once inside, the man grabbed an AR-15 with an APD emblem, three magazines for the rifle -- each with 30-round capacity, and a handgun. 

Besides the weaponry, the thief grabbed a bag carried by Tactical Field Officers.

He got away with a police vest, a gas mask, and a riot helmet. Also inside that officer's bag was his ticket-writing book.

"We messed up on this," said Sgt. John Chafee. What the police department spokesman is talking about are the repeated warnings APD has issued to the public not to leave weapons in your vehicle. 

The department of Homeland Security was brought in on the case. As for the officer, he is now under internal investigation for possible violations of department policy. 

It appears that the officer failed to secure the weapons and police gear in a lockbox inside his personal vehicle, according to Sgt. Chafee. 

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