The search continues for a missing rifle, stolen from the unmarked car of an off-duty San Diego police detective. Early Monday morning, the SWAT team surrounded a home in Eastlake. 20-year-old Mark Walters was arrested for domestic violence and is suspected is the burglary. NBC 7’s Rory Devine has the latest.
Three police radios stolen from an off-duty police detective’s vehicle over the weekend have been recovered but a rifle was still missing, officials said Tuesday.
The unidentified San Diego police detective’s vehicle was broken into in Eastlake some time Saturday night or Sunday morning.
The unmarked police car was parked in front of the detective’s home when it was burglarized, SDPD Lt. Kevin Meyer said.
Meyer said the rifle, which was locked and secure inside the vehicle, was stolen along with handheld police radios and a magazine of ammunition.
Mark Walters, 20, of Chula Vista, was arrested in connection with the burglary as well as an unrelated domestic violence incident.
San Diego police said it was during that domestic violence call late Monday that they found information or evidence leading them to Walters and the home at 1845 Ithaca Street.
After officers arrived, they were able to reach Walters by phone around 3 a.m. and he agreed to come out of the home willingly.
Chula Vista police officers also responded to the home and helped secure the perimeter as they searched for the stolen police property, Chula Vista Lt. Phil Collim said.
The residents of the home initially refused to surrender, prompting a standoff that lasted several hours.
Just about the time the SWAT team members mobilized, the other residents in the home came out willingly, Collim said.
Though they believed the house was safe and clear, SWAT officers deployed a flash bang and went inside the home around 7:45 a.m. to make sure no one else was inside.
About half an hour later, they officially cleared the home and said neighbors in the area, who had been ordered to stay inside, could go about their normal business.
Homeowner Victoria Lynn Farnham told NBC 7 she initially refused to allow officers into the home without a search warrant.
Once they obtained a warrant, officers searched her home for a rifle, according to Farnham.
Chula Vista Police conducted a grid search of the neighborhood in search of evidence related to the car burglary, and Eton Court was cordoned off.
Farnham told NBC 7 officers found a black case, binoculars, 3 Motorola phones, a mag light and handcuffs in a backpack down the street.
Collim did not have the same information. He said a bag containing three police radios was found under a bush just down the street from the house.
Officers did not find any evidence at that home nor the stolen property. Collim also said there was no information connecting the residents to any crime whatsoever.
Walters was booked by San Diego police in connection with the domestic violence incident. Chula Vista police said they will add charges of burglary and possession of stolen property.
Farnham said Walters is a friend of her children and stays at the home some nights.
Ed. Note: In a previous version of this article, we reported a weapon was recovered in the home. We regret the error.