Lincoln Heights Police Look For Suspect Who Stole SWAT Equipment

(LINCOLN HEIGHTS, OH) -- Some local police are looking for burglars who stole their own SWAT team's equipment.

FOX19's Corey McConnell reports.

It's not often a police department has to investigate a burglary that happened in their own office.

The office is a locker room type setting that the Lincoln Heights Fire Department is lending to the police department, and it was in that room where the SWAT equipment that's now missing was stored.

"There's a vest, a cevlar helmet some other items knee pads those types of things," said Police Chief DeAngelo Sumler.

Sumler says no weapons were stolen, but burglars did get some of his departments SWAT team gear.

"I think it's crappy. It's hard for them to protect us and do their job and protect the community and they have problems protecting their own stuff and equipment. It's a free for all," said Lincoln Heights resident Crystal Lindsey.

Lincoln Heights police are trying to determine if it was an inside job, or if a civilian walked in off the streets, and walked out with some serious gear.

"The door sometimes is open there's people in and out of the police department once you come into the police department it's locked but in the bay area it's wide open," said Sumler.

The department has a levy on the ballot Tuesday.

The chief says it's not exactly what his department of nine officers needs on the eve of the vote, but he hopes it serves as a wake up call to the community, saying his department is in 'dire straights.'

If tomorrow's levy passes, the department would be able to add six officers which the chief says would help not only protect the community, but enable the department to rely less on the sheriff's department for assistance.