More from the series
More coverage on the SLO police chief’s lost gun
Chief Deanna Cantrell left her gun in the bathroom at El Pollo Loco. Who took it and should she be disciplined? Read more here:
SLO police chief’s lost gun recovered from Los Osos man. His brother-in-law turned him in
SLO police chief left her gun in a restaurant bathroom — now it’s missing
SLO police chief expects to be disciplined, gun still missing after leaving it in bathroom
SLO’s police chief lost her gun due to carelessness. What she did next is amazing
Think a police chief losing a gun is odd? It’s happened before in SLO County
Though San Luis Obispo’s police chief’s misplacement of her gun this week may seem unusual, a review of similar public incidents shows several key local police officials have lost their firearms in the past.
SLO Police Chief Deanna Cantrell acknowledged leaving her gun in the bathroom Wednesday of a restaurant on Los Osos Valley Road, and police still are investigating who may have taken it.
But in recent years, two former local city chiefs also lost their weapons, and a former SLO city councilman and bar owner who went to work for the Morro Bay police department faced a similar gun-related incident.
A.G.’s chief has gun stolen
Arroyo Grande’s former top official, Steve Annibali, who retired in 2017, had his gun stolen in 2013. Annibali’s handgun, ammunition, badge and ID were stolen out of his locked, unmarked police car.
Annibali acknowledged violating city policy by leaving the car parked on the street, rather than in a driveway or garage, and by storing the gun in the interior of the car, rather than the trunk, according to past Tribune reports. Annibali was disciplined, but because it was a personnel matter, the city did not disclose what action was taken.
Paso chief’s gun stolen from car
In 2008, former Paso Robles police chief Lisa Solomon also left a loaded handgun that was stolen from the center console of her unlocked, unmarked police vehicle while it was parked at her Paso Robles home.
Solomon acknowledged the mistake, but didn’t face investigation. Then City Manager Jim App agreed that Solomon made an error in judgment in not locking her car but didn’t discipline her. It was App’s opinion that Solomon’s two decades of positive service to the city “outweighed this one mistake,” he said then.
Solomon was relieved of her command in 2012, then facing a complaint accusing her of sexually harassing a former officer and a lawsuit over alleged traffic-ticket quotas.
Morro Bay officer, SLO councilman resigns after guns stolen
Paul Brown, a former San Luis Obispo city councilman and former owner of Mother’s Tavern, was a police officer in training with the Morro Bay Police Department in 2011 when two guns were stolen from his personal car parked outside his San Luis Obispo home.
A department investigation could have resulted in potential discipline if it was found that Brown had violated any department policies. But Brown resigned, saying his departure was “in the best interests of myself and the (Morro Bay police) department.”
According to The Trace, a nonprofit news organization that reports on gun violence, at least 1,781 law enforcement guns were lost or stolen between 2008 and 2017. But the survey just covered approximately 100 departments in 29 states.