4 Suspects Accused of Stealing ATF Agent's Car and Guns in Custody

Officials have not yet identified the suspects or revealed whether the firearms were recovered

Four suspects accused of stealing a car with guns inside belonging to a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agent were in custody Monday.

Officials confirmed the vehicle holding multiple guns was stolen from an ATF agent in La Jolla last Thursday. Government property and personal items were recovered from the suspects, ATF spokesperson Ginger Colbrun said.

The department has not yet revealed the names of the suspects or whether the firearms were obtained. The theft took place in the morning along Black Gold Road near Black's Beach.

San Diego police told NBC 7 the car was unmarked.

The reason cases like these get attention is due in large part to the Kathryn Steinle murder trial going on in the Bay Area right now.

Prosecutors said 32-year-old Steinle was fatally shot by an undocumented immigrant as she walked on San Francisco's Pier 14 in 2015. An investigation later showed the gun used in her death was stolen from the car of an off-duty Bureau of Land Management agent just days earlier.

The trial for the man accused of her murder started just last week.

The high profile case prompted a legislation--SB 869 was signed last year. It requires law enforcement officers and concealed weapon permit holders who leave firearms in their cars to lock them in a safe box or in the trunk.

By Thursday night, San Diego police said the ATF agent's car had been found.

According to a spokesperson for ATF, government-issued firearms inside the vehicle, along with some personal items were not recovered.

ATF has a storage policy for firearms but did not say whether or not the agent followed the policy. They are investigating the incident.

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