SANTA ANA ( — Orange County Sheriff’s Department officials are searching for an AR-15 assault rifle that was lost by a deputy, authorities said Wednesday.

Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock says the deputy was preparing for work about 7 p.m. Tuesday when he placed the weapon on the trunk of his patrol car, got distracted, and then drove off.

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The deputy drove on streets in Aliso Viejo and Laguna Hills between 7 p.m. Tuesday and 3:15 a.m. Wednesday before realizing the rifle was missing, Hallock said.

An image of an assault rifle similar to the one that was lost was posted on the Sheriff’s Department official Twitter page.

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Deputies have been scouring the streets but have been unable to find the gun, Hallock said. Reserve deputies and bloodhounds have joined the search, he said.

Anyone with information was asked to call the sheriff’s department at (714) 647-7000. Anonymous tips are welcome through the Orange County Crime Stoppers organization at (855) TIP-OCCS.

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