A Flagler County Sheriff’s patrol vehicle assigned to deputy Daniel LaVerne was broken into overnight Saturday as it was parked in front of LaVerne’s house in the area of Beachway Drive in Palm Coast. The thief or thieves stole a handgun and a rifle.
“The vehicle was locked and it was broken into,” and damaged, a sheriff’s spokesperson said. LaVerne, a six-year veteran of the agency, noticed the theft this morning and reported it at 9:47 a.m. Detectives and the Crime Scene Investigations unit have been at the deputy’s property since then, investigating the burglary. The Sheriff’s Office is obviously concerned, not only about the theft of agency weapons, but with what may have gone wrong to enable the burglary–whether human error or technical failure.
Sheriff’s patrol vehicles are equipped with firearm locks with built-in security features and a vehicle security system, an agency release issued this afternoon states. The spokesperson would not elaborate about the security features so as not to reveal them.
“Everything that’s part of the investigation is to find out if the firearms were properly secured and if so, did the security systems that are in place fail, and if so, which ones and why, so there are still a lot of unknowns on what exactly happened,” the spokesperson said, adding, about the security features: “It’s a several-step security process for them to be able to secure their firearms inside their vehicles.” The stolen weapons are assumed to be loaded.
“We are working diligently to determine why the security systems failed and following all leads to identify the suspect,” Sheriff Rick Staly is quoted as saying in the release. “This was a bold crime and to the thief I say this – we are coming after you.”
Deputies are allowed to take their patrol vehicles home. The vehicles in neighborhoods usually act as crime deterrents. But deputies must follow rules in the use of the vehicles (they can’t be used on personal errands when the deputy is off, for example) and strict rules in the securing of weaponry that isn’t brought into their residence. Failing to follow policies and regulations, especially with regards to one’s own weaponry, may incur severe discipline. “It will have to depend on the outcome of the investigation for them to decide if he was at any kind of fault or not, so that’s still ongoing,” the spokesperson said of LaVerne.
The Sheriff’s Domestic Homeland Security Section was notified and is also conducting a follow-up investigation and coordinating with state and federal authorities, the agency said in its release. It is sheriff’s policy under General Order 025 that all weapons and ammunition approved for use by employees will be secured at all times both on-duty and off-duty. This incident will be reviewed by the Sheriff’s Loss Control Review Board for compliance with agency policy.
The agency is seeking the public’s help: if anyone lives in the area of Beachway Drive in Palm Coast has surveillance video covering the time span from Saturday evening to Sunday morning, the agency would like to see it. Deputies have been going door-to-door to seek out information.
Anyone with information on this case or potential surveillance in the area is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 386-313-4911 and mention Case Number 2019-26064. Tips can be sent to [email protected] or, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477). You could be eligible for a reward up to $5,000.00.
bill nelson says
DO YOU SUPPOSE WE, THE PUBLIC, WILL EVER HEAR FURTHER ON THIS ? (TRUTH OR NOT)
Shouldn’t be a shocker … I doubt they paid to have legitimate alarms installed that includes glass break sensors … factory remotes are crap.. if they would have had glass break sensors installed on all the windows it would be more protection . He( sheriff) can spend all the tax payers money on stupid mustangs that serve no multi purpose functions , but can’t spend money to proper equip his cars ? And for god sakes take those poor guys out of those old Junky crown Victoria’s I don’t know if they are citizens on patrol or real deputies … every other agency has moved on yet we’re paying tax dollars to put new logos on some hunk of junk !!!! On another note the deputy either didn’t lock his car or the system in place is seriously flawed …. at my old agency we had a habit of using the same old crap for like every new car that was taken out of a older car and placed in a new car instead of spending money to get updated tech and equipment … but I guess it happens everywhere poor fella probably
Don’t feel to great right now … of course it will be the deputies fault for having a false sense of security which is also wrong … stop cutting corners on safety folks …
OH. C’MON–This police officer kept a handgun and rifle IN HIS PARKED CAR????? Sounds like grounds for automatic dismissal to me.
Concerned Citizen says
Whether or not he was at fault is a moot point. He left loaded weapons in his vehicle. Security system or not all fire arms should be brought inside and secured properly. Now weapons are loose on the street that didn’t need to be.
Once again this agency continues to have problems. And not minor ones. It makes me wonder what kind of training are they receiving. By my 6th year with our SO I knew to take my weapons out of the car and to secure them properly in my home.
We keep hearing of weapons being stolen from cars. While people shouldn’t be breaking into stuff to begin with it happens quite a bit. There is no valid reason to leave your weapon unattended. Secure it and keep it out of reach of unauthorized users. That weapon is your responsibility 24/7. Not when it’s just convenient.
I understand that 2A guarantees us the right to possess and carry fire arms. It doesn’t absolve you of the right to be a responsible owner.
It will be interesting to see what disciplinary issues will be taken.
Safe city my ass no one is immune from crime, sad that we have come to this , 16 years ago when I moved here it was nice now it’s time to move on but I don’t know where
I guess nobody close to his house had one of those Ring doorbells that the cops could look at to see if their was any video of the robbery?
Practice what you preach flagler county sheriffs office. You guys put people down all the time for leaving weapons in cars. If these guns are used in a crime then he should be held accountable. I have a CWP and my guns are on my person or in a safe…..never leave a gun in a car in palmcoast.
It’s stupid to leave guns in cars parked on driveways in Palm Coast. LEO should know better.
Staly has proposed buying a new home for each Drputy, one with a 3 car garage to keep his cars safe. He has done his homework and said the initial cost would be under $ 2 Billion, ongoing expenses to cover increased costs for utilities, taxes, insurance would bed less than $5 Million annually.not only would this prevent a rash of future stolen equipment but the hiring of future employees would be enhance by the additional benefit. He will contact the aFire Chief to serif there isn’t some way of expanding and incorporating his idea for other taxpayer supported agencies.
Sheriff Staly is good at the microphone. This will give him air time which is his main concern.
Something doesn’t sound right here. In a locked Sheriffs vehicle, security systems and weapons locks all defeated ? Who do you think did it Willie Sutton?
For you non history appreciating readers Willie Sutton was a famous safecracker in the 30’s.
Probably didn’t lock the car and staged the theft to cover his rump !!!! Barney Fife would have done better !!!
Palm Coast has a little “feature” that could have prevented this…. All homes in the city have 2 car garages. Make the deputies have to park the cars in their garages at night.
Additionally, if a deputy wants to take a car home, they must have camera surveillance directed at the vehicle.
More concerned citizen says
To stretchem- OBVIOUSLY you have no idea the pay that a deputy receives…he or she can not afford a single family home with a 2 car garage alone… let alone a security system. So if you the tax payers want to contribute more to a deputys salary… or pay for the cameras outside their home then feel free to suggest that to the city 🤷🏼♀️
To everyone else… does ANYONE stop to think about what that deputy and his family are going through,
being victimized and not seeing ONE friendly post of support… let’s talk about the criminals that broke into a police car. Never has a police officer responded to your home for a burglary and said well it’s your fault… your the problem… and you deserve it…. a deputy would never treat you like that.
Let’s support our deputy’s and all of the blood, sweat and tear they put into protecting your town… they do the best the have with what they have. They make so many sacrifices for us… and this is how we repay them??? We need to do better…
As a person who has been around guns for well over 50 years and and have a CWP for over 30 years,I have to say …this deputy screwed up,
There are many homes that do not have 2 car garages- good thought though!
Jim O says
something smells fishy hear…
Audacious robbery and embarrassing to the LEO.
It will be a while before he lives that down.
Concerned Citizen says
Not sure where you got your info. Several older homes in the C’s have open covered parking. I lived in one myself. Still though extra precautions should be made to secure take home cars. If you can’t then you should leave it at a secured facility.
And it’s still never a good idea to leave fire arms in a vehicle. Mine goes in every day. Do the right thign every time. It’s habit forming and saves head aches.
First, not ALL homes in pc have a 2 car garage. Second, a police car in the driveway SHOULD serve as a deterrent to crime. Should.
Very disappointing, It should be common knowledge not to leave a firearm unattended in a motor vehicle or anywhere else for that matter. Anyone who reads the paper can see the large number of cars being broken into and firearms stolen. The officer should have known better.
SUSAN HUHN says
Were there any signs of a break in? If so what? If not we have to assume the car was left unlocked. If that’s the case we will NEVER know.
Irregardless of the personal situation of the deputy in question, law enforcement and all government personnel ARE held to a HIGHER standard of conduct than a typical CITIZEN. In this case where firearms were at risk gross negligence should be the charge. Leave it to the courts to determine if the Sheriff’s office or the individual deputy is liable.