One of two NYPD handguns that went missing from the 103rd Precinct stationhouse in Jamaica, Queens, on Saturday later surfaced at a Brooklyn station house as part of the NYPD gun buyback program. Police sources tell the Daily News that the guns may have been stolen by disgruntled officers as part of a "retaliatory prank." Good grief, whatever happened to just replacing the other cop's deodorant with Mace?
"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 tells the News. "For police guns to be floating around like this—shameful." Seriously—you can come up with better pranks than this, NYPD! Like spread some shoe polish on the megaphone so it makes a brown ring around the chief's mouth—hilarious and harmless.
One of the guns belonged to Lt. Charles Minch, the precinct's special operations officer; the other belonged to his driver, Officer Charles Lovett. Internal Affairs Bureau investigators tell the News that Minch's gun lockers inside his office were found unlocked Saturday morning, and they suspect it may have been the work of one of the half a dozen "malcontents" whom Minch reassigned to work weekends. "Morale at the station was not where it should be, so that's what's under the microscope," another source tells the News.
It's unclear how the gun landed in the hands of the unidentified man who sold it back to the cops in Brooklyn, but other sources tell the Post a different story: an ex-con's fingerprints were found on one of the lockers "and the former jailbird is the prime suspect in the theft." However this theft went down, it's a real black eye for the NYPD, and it probably makes sense for all cops at the 103rd to carry wooden guns until they find out who's responsible.