KILLINGLY, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut State Police have recovered a Bushmaster rifle, among several additional items stolen when a suspect allegedly broke into a State Police cruiser in Killingly on July 4.
Surveillance pictures show the man believed to have broken into several cars in the Danielson/Killingly area in the early morning hours of July Fourth.
Among them was a State Police cruiser which belonged to Captain Timothy Madden who is assigned to Troop D.
News 8 asked TFC Christine Jeltema with the Connecticut State Police if the cruiser was locked.
“So we don’t know for sure,” said TFC Jeltema. “We know that it appears that… from our detectives… that there was no forced entry onto the vehicle or into the vehicles.”
Among the items taken were a department-issued Bushmaster XM15 semi-automatic rifle, a plastic container with approximately 70 rounds of ammo, and a police baton and holder.
On July 12, CSP released a statement saying the Bushmaster rifle had been recovered, among other items initially stolen during the break-in and in the interim 7-day period.
CSP went on to thank the Hartford Police Department, the FBI, local law enforcement agencies, and members of the public — all of whom assisted with information in this investigation.
“It’s unfortunate that it happened to be one of our agencies rifles and all the other items that were taken but there are other guns and firearms that have been stolen from motor vehicles and they have been…those other firearms have been used in crimes,” said TFC Jeltema.
Also taken were a Ceramic Plate Carrier with CSP Identification Velcro Patches and a Raid Jacket.
“Because it happened to one of us and the items that were taken it’s obviously a concern,” said TFC Jeltema.
The Connecticut State Police Union says it recognizes the risk this theft poses to the public and state troopers and it is offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
Along with the captain’s car, several other motor vehicles in Killingly, Tolland, and Stafford were also targeted and a car was stolen in Woodstock. All may serve as a reminder for residents to lock their doors.
“Every night before they go to bed, lock their cars,” urged TFC Jeltema. “Take all their valuables inside. If they have cameras turn their cameras on.”
Investigators believe the thieves may be crossing state lines.
The suspect’s vehicle on July Fourth was a stolen dark gray, 2018 Audi Q5 out of Sturbridge with Massachusetts registration 58VW87.
State police say the criminal investigation into this incident remains “very active”, along with an internal affairs review.
If you recognize the car or driver you are asked to contact Connecticut State Police Troop D at 860-779-4900.