Orlando police Chief Val Demings lost her gun in a burglary of her city vehicle. The theft happened weeks ago, but did not become public until late Tuesday, when a tipster alerted the Orlando Sentinel. “It was devastating enough for me to be the victim of a crime and have my service weapon stolen after 25 years on the job,” Demings said. “I need to do everything possible to get my gun off the street.”
The 9mm Sig Sauer pistol was stolen the night of Feb. 27 and discovered the next morning. The weapon was left in a duffel bag inside her agency sport utility vehicle, which she parked outside the home she and her husband, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, share. I never leave my gun in the car, but I did that night because we were expecting guests for the weekend and they had young children,” Demings said. “We are allowed to store our [weapons] in the trunk or passenger compartment as long as they are out of plain view. It was clearly out of plain view.” In 2002, the Sentinel found that 193 of 680 guns stolen in Orange County were taken from parked cars. That year, Florida ranked fifth nationally in that regard, with 7,434 firearms reported stolen.