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FHP trooper's gun, badge stolen from personal car

Policy does not requre troopers to keep guns with them when off duty

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Florida Highway Patrol trooper's gun, badge and credit cards were stolen from her personal car parked outside a friend's home in Jacksonville Heights.

It happened one week ago while the 28-year-old officer was off-duty. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office police report, the car was locked and the FHP-issued .45-caliber handgun has not been found.

"Obviously it's a concern," one neighbor said of car burglaries in the area. "What do you do?"

The FHP would not comment on this case because it is under investigation but did say its policy encourages but does not require officers to keep their guns with them when off-duty.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst said this isn't just a problem with law enforcement, but a problem for everyone. He said locking weapons in a safety case, out of sight, is best.

"In police cars, there may be some weapons that do stay in the car, like a shotgun or rifle," Smith said. "As far as when they're off duty and have their service weapon with them, it just needs to be secured inside their car."