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Assault Rifle Stolen From Calgary Officer's Car

04/06/2015 02:07 EDT | Updated 04/06/2015 02:59 EDT

A Calgary police officer has been suspended with pay after his firearm and 56 rounds of ammunition were stolen out of the back of his personal vehicle over the weekend.

The officer told investigators he planned to take the Colt C8 semi-automatic rifle home to clean on Saturday night, when he stopped at a restaurant in the 0-100 block of Crowfoot Terrace N.W. on the way home, reports CTV News.

When he came back, the car has been broken into, the gun and ammo missing.

The gun had been locked inside a hard-cover case, but Superintendent Kevan Stuart told reporters Sunday that the case may not have been "properly tethered" with cables inside the car.

"There is no reason in my mind why an officer would take this firearm home," a disappointed Stuart said during Sunday's press conference, adding the incident left him feeling "sick to [his] stomach."

Stuart said that officers should not be taking their weapons home with them and that this incident has left the officer's career "in huge jeopardy."

"I am going to say that right out, and I know that is going to create some controversy. But we do not want our officers taking their firearms home. There is nothing good that can come of that. Most officers leave their handguns at their office where they work. Which is the smart thing to do."

After the theft was reported, Calgary Police went to work setting up roadblocks and searching cars in the area, reports the Calgary Sun.

Howard Burns, president of the Calgary Police Association, told the Calgary Herald an incident like this often results in a change of policy within a police force. He said an "ideal situation" is to have officers be required to return their firearms to police lock-up at the end of a shift.

Police ask anyone with information about the missing rifle to contact them at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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