A gun swiped from a police lieutenant’s locker – sparking a probe into whether it was an inside job by disgruntled officers – was sold to an NYPD buyback program for $100.
The discovery is alarming because it means that if cops took the 9-mm. pistol from their supervisor as a retaliatory prank, they dangerously let it out of their possession.
“We’ve had guns disappear in the past because malcontents stupidly thought that was a way to make their cause known, but they usually showed up late in the same precinct,” a police source said Tuesday.
“For police guns to be floating around like this – shameful.”
The handgun is one of two weapons discovered missing from lockers – secured with combination locks – in the 103rd Precinct stationhouse in Jamaica, Queens, on Saturday.
One belonged to Lt. Charles Minch, the special operations officer; the other belonged to his driver, Officer Charles Lovett, sources said.
Minch showed up to work Saturday evening to find his office door still locked but the combination locks on the lockers dangling open.
The office was empty for less than two hours that day, so Internal Affairs Bureau investigators suspect one or more cops in the precinct is the culprit.
Minch had recently rearranged the schedules of half a dozen cops so that many had to work weekends – and they weren’t happy about it.
“Morale at the station was not where it should be, so that’s what’s under the microscope,” another source said.
The mystery took a surprising turn over the weekend, when a man walked into a Brooklyn stationhouse and said he had a gun to turn in as part of the NYPD’s buyback program, sources said.
Source: Kerry Burke and ALizon Gendar for The NY Daily News.