Franklin, IN - Greenwood Patrol Car Completely Destroyed By Fire - Stolen - M4 Rifle With Ammo - Laptop - Breath Measurement

October 3, 2014

Police are searching for those responsible for stealing several items from an off-duty Greenwood Police vehicle before setting it on fire Friday morning outside a Franklin home.

After extinguishing the fire, it was determined several items were missing from inside, including:

  • Rock River 16″ M4 rifle with iron sights and two 30 round magazines with ammunition.
  • HP laptop
  • PBT (preliminary breath alcohol measurement instrument)
  • Maglite flashlight

Evidence technicians started examining the torched police car Friday morning. FOX 59 got a first-hand look Friday afternoon.

The sooty windows and ash are signs of the early-morning fire.

“I thought something had actually hit our house,” said Brian McMillin.

McMillin heard a noise and called 911 early Friday morning. Police tell us it happened in the 4 a.m. hour.

Even by the afternoon, shattered glass and burned out pieces remained on the curb, steps away from McMillin’s home.

“It started out what looked like to be a small fire in the back seat, and by the time I got off the phone and came outside to take another look at it, it was in the front seat,” he told us.

Police said somebody swiped a rifle, two magazines with ammo, a laptop, and other items, including a flashlight and a breath measurement instrument.

“The way the laptops are set up, it’s highly unlikely that anybody would be able to access any information. They are protected to access them. You would have to access the network,” said Detective Sergeant John Borges, with Franklin Police.

As for the rifle investigators tell FOX 59 it’s common for officers to store weapons in cars.

“We take every precaution we can, as does Greenwood Police Department, in securing those weapons. There’s nothing or anything that is completely impervious to criminals,” said Borges.

Investigators do not know who torched the off-duty car or why. They’re trying to figure out if multiple people are involved.

“We’re trying to determine if there’s a situation where the officer who had the vehicle damaged might have upset somebody. We’re looking at it from that angle,” said Borges, “Could it have been someone they had exposure to on the job? It could also be a random act, so it’s a broad spectrum we’re looking at.

Franklin Police are the lead investigating agency in the case because the crime occurred in Franklin. Greenwood Police are assisting the department. The officer involved is compiling a list of what was inside the car.

Neighbors said if it was a targeted act, it’s one they will not stand for.

“It doesn’t put me on edge, but it does make me uncomfortable, (that) people in the community would do such a thing intentionally,” said Bruce Reichel, who lives nearby.