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Shotgun stolen from parked SUV in Greenfield

GREENFIELD — Police are on the lookout for a shotgun stolen in broad daylight from a parked vehicle Friday afternoon.

At 12:41 p.m., a local man reported that his Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun had been stolen from his red 1997 Jeep Cherokee Sport. The vehicle had been parked at the D.H. Jones Plaza, 21 Mohawk Trail, when it was entered.

The man reported that his vehicle had been locked, with one window slightly open, and that it was out of his sight for about 10 minutes, according to Sgt. David Rice. The shotgun, which was unloaded, was in the rear of the SUV, and did not have a trigger lock on it, said Rice.

Rice said the theft was an isolated incident; there were no reports of nearby vehicles broken into. He believes it was a crime of opportunity. Rice is concerned that the thief may have ill intent for the stolen weapon.

“This is something we take very seriously,” he said.

Rice said the case is under investigation, and police have spoken to potential witnesses, and will review footage from area security cameras.

The gun owner, who has not been identified, may face charges of improperly storing a firearm. Rice said the man was transporting the gun from one location to another when it was taken.

“Guns need to be transported unloaded, in a locked container, or with a trigger lock, preferably in the trunk of the vehicle,” said Rice.

Rice said a locked vehicle itself does not count as a locked container, citing a decision by the state Supreme Judicial Court in Commonwealth v. Reyes earlier this year. The court determined that a locked glove compartment may or may not satisfy the secure container requirement. A trunk, however, does, according to Massachusetts General Law cited in the case.

Anyone with information that may lead to the recovery of the gun or arrest of the thief is strongly encouraged to call Greenfield Police, at 413-773-5411.

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