5 Arrested In Connection With LAPD SWAT Weapon Theft

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles police say over two dozen weapons stolen from a SWAT training facility may have been sold to criminals on the black market despite the arrests of five suspects in the case.

According to police, two thieves made off with a total of 30 weapons — including submachine guns, assault rifles and handguns. The burglary occurred at the facility in downtown Los Angeles last month.

“It’s our understanding that their plan was to break into this warehouse for the purpose of stealing the electrical wiring,” said Capt. Andrew Smith of the LAPD.

Smith confirmed that search warrants led to the recovery of at least three of the weapons and yielded five arrests.

Richard Velasco, 29, and 41-year-old Gilbert Salcedo were booked for burglary while 24-year-old Gerardo Vasquez, 28-year-old William Vasquez and Mauricio Hernandez, 31, were arrested and booked for possession of an assault weapon.

“The guns are configured so that they shoot simunitions which are plastic marking bullets that people use for practice,” Smith said.

But with the right knowledge, they can be converted back into operational high-powered weapons.

“So anybody who is selling any of these or transferring wouldn’t be at a gun store, wouldn’t be at a legitimate shop. It would be something they would do on the street,” Smith added.

CBS2’s Rita Garcia reported at 11 p.m. that an internal investigation is currently under way since inert weapons, such as the ones taken, are usually kept in a safe, secure armory away from these types of facilities.

  • Jamie Chambers

    how can you book some one for having a assult weapon that has been disabled its no more assult ///burgkary yes stikeb property yes //but disabled
    assult weapon come on

  • Jeezus

    they still fire blanks or something i thought, but as well they can be converted with the proper parts. or part. Anyways, they thought they were stealing real guns, so there go smartie pants.

    Comparable to a bait car say- as it may not be a “real” car but it still got stolen with the intent that it is for real.

  • james can

    lol, proof reading sucks. they used “bold” cutters?!!!

  • JS

    In 45 years, do you suppose it will still be possible to feel safe in neighborhoods and gated communities that are safe within a shield of unaffordability. I suppose it’s easy enough to move. We can still be politically correct from within luxurious compounds at the North Pole.

  • h

    Corrupt DEA where stealing drugs from evidence vaults and reselling them to cover extensive credit card debt.
    They also are creating suspects by planting evidence just so that they can steal from them.
    Given the choice of suspension or dealing with their debt most DEA are thinking outside the box.

  • Adore

    Wow its sad how the US can be soo unfair too others! But i need to ask for you guys can add more pictures

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