An FBI agent’s sniper rifle was ripped out of his car’s window and stolen from a Salt Lake City hotel parking lot just days before President Obama visited Utah earlier this month.
The gun was inside a hard rifle case and was ‘secured properly’ to a truck safe with padlocks and chains while the car was parked at the Marriott Springhill Suites, according to police.
Police believe the thief stole the rifle by breaking the rear right passenger-side window, tying a rope around the rifle case’s handle or a cable lock, and using the momentum from another vehicle to then break the case’s handle free from the lock.
The window frame of the agent’s car was pulled from the door, which police believe could indicate the large case was ripped through the shattered window.
‘The rifle had been secured properly,’ Salt Lake City Police Detective Dennis McGowan told Fox 13 Salt Lake City.
‘There are all kinds of ways the weapon was secure. Yet someone was able to forcefully take the weapon.’
The FBI agent also reported that his gear bag, backpack, and some clothing and tools were also stolen during the March 27 theft, which the police report states happened overnight.
Officers found two skid marks and pieces of rope lying on the pavement near the car, as well as the broken-off handle of the rifle case.
The agent’s bags and some of his clothing were found at a Residence Inn across the street, but the sniper rifle has not been recovered.
Marriott Springhill Suites, the agent’s hotel, is next to the city’s airport and just down the street from the state’s FBI office.
The hotel does not have surveillance cameras, according to the police report.
Salt Lake City police said the rifle’s serial number has been entered into the National Crime Information Computer.
The Secret Service told Fox 13 Salt Lake City the agency was notified about the stolen rifle before President Obama’s visit, but could not comment if the theft prompted an increase of security.
Det. McGowan said police do not know if the thief specifically targeted the agent’s car.