CHELMSFORD (CBS) — Chelmsford Police are searching for a missing shotgun taken Wednesday night from the trunk of a stolen unmarked police car.

Authorities say someone broke into the garage of a Chelmsford police officer’s house and stole several sets of keys. The thieves then used the keys to make off with the unmarked cruiser that had the shotgun in the trunk. The thieves also stole a Saturn station wagon from the same house.

The Saturn was found near the officer’s house. The unmarked cruiser was found Thursday morning in an apartment complex on Bowden Street in Lowell, less than a mile from the police officer’s house.

“If you were driving by, you would have thought it was any other car because it was parked in a regular parking space,” Chelmsford Police Chief James Spinney said at a press conference.

chelmsford Chelmsford Police Still Looking For Shotgun Taken From Unmarked Cruiser

The unmarked Chelmsford police cruiser that was stolen and later recovered. (WBZ-TV)

But it wasn’t any other car. It was the missing unmarked cruiser and the shotgun was missing from the trunk.

“We’re doing a sweep of the property hoping the shotgun has been discarded in the woods and can be quickly recovered,” Spinney said.

The officer is a detective and is also an arson investigator, so the chief says he’s allowed to have the additional items at home.

“He is a major crime scene detective and he’s also an arson investigator, so we have allowed him to have additional resources at home at all times,” the chief said, adding that the policy of allowing the additional weapons may be under review.

The incident involved two cars being stolen, and that’s why the chief doesn’t believe one person acted alone.

“Because two cars were stolen, we think there is more than one suspect. These individuals had in mind to break in to that house and the desire to get what they wanted,” Spinney also said.

He also says he doesn’t believe the thieves were targeting a detective.

“There have been a number of other car thefts in that area so there’s no reason to believe that this police officer was singled out,” he said.

Officials are also looking for an empty gun lockbox.

Lowell K-9 units are assisting in the search.

Police don’t have any suspects at this point in the investigation.
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