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Burglar gets police ammo

(Published January 28, 2002)

By KATHRYN SINZINGER

Staff Writer

D.C. police are searching for a burglar who brazenly smashed the glass front door of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Asian Liaison Unit office in early January and stole, among other items, a sizable amount of ammunition for a 9-millimeter semi-automatic weapon.

An arrest warrant has been issued for a suspect, who police say was seen breaking into MPD’s Chinatown office in the 600 block of H Street NW at about 11:30 p.m. Jan. 2, by a citizen who alerted police to the crime. Police said the male suspect is known to frequent the area but has no known address.

Lt. Lewis Douglas, a First Police District investigator working on the case, confirmed that six magazines of ammunition for a Glock semi-automatic handgun – a standard department-issued weapon – were among the items stolen from the police office. He said each magazine holds 14 rounds of ammunition.

Douglas said the ammunition was stolen from a locker or desk, which he said was locked. Also stolen from the ransacked office were MPD handcuffs, pepper spray and an MPD vest, Douglas said.

Douglas said none of the stolen items have been recovered.

The office, which police said is normally not staffed between 11:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., has no burglar alarm to alert police of a break-in, according to Sgt. Kenny Temsupasiri, who is assigned to the Asian Liaison Unit.

"We’ve instructed officers to take any police equipment with them when they leave the office," Temsupasiri said of precautions put in place since the burglary occurred.

Police said they also are in the process of having the owner of the building, which the city leases, install metal front and back doors. In the meantime, Temsupasiri said the broken glass has been repaired in the front door.

Ward 3 City Councilwoman Kathleen Patterson, who chairs the committee with police oversight duties, said she intends to ask police officials about their security precautions during upcoming oversight hearings as a result of the break-in.

"Frankly, when that much ammunition is involved, it’s definitely a concern," Patterson said. "How many other locations are there where ammunition is stored in an unsecure manner? This is the kind of thing that should be a heads-up generally."

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator