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Mar 7, 2021

In 2017 an AR-15 military-style assault rifle was stolen from the Santa Cruz Police Department and remains missing. In this hour-long interview, Santa Cruz Police Lieutenant Arnold Vasquez discusses the three-week investigation he led into the AR-15 theft. Lt. Vasquez explains that he was unable to discover when or where the gun was stolen. The AR-15 rifle was discovered missing in May, 2017 and was last seen three months before that, in February, 2017 he said. 


The SCPD AR-15 theft was not made public and some current Santa Cruz City Councilmembers, and the police auditor for the city, learned of the missing gun from me.  


My three-part series on the SCPD stolen AR-15 was published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and is available online: 


The AR-15 was originally manufactured by ArmaLite and is now produced by Colt. The AR-15 is the civilian/police version of the U.S. military’s M-16 rifle that was the standard issue weapon for U.S. soldiers during the catastrophic war on Vietnam. In addition to the AR-15 some of the other military-style gear that the Santa Cruz Police Department has includes an armored personnel carrier, flashbang grenades, grenade launchers and sniper rifles.   


This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 25, 2021 on “Transformation Highway” on KZSC. 88.1 FM,