SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - The search is on for the burglar who broke into the home of a San Francisco sheriff's deputy, and stole an entire lock box, that contained weapons and police equipment.
The deputy came home Friday morning, and found his house ransacked and his department-issued gun missing.
The deputy did have the weapon properly locked up, but the thief stole the entire lock box.
The thief also took the deputy's gunbelt, ammunition and a police radio.
"The larger issue is now we have someone running around with this stolen police sensitive equipment that could use this to commit crimes against innocent people, believing this person is a legitimate police officer," said Officer Albie Esparza.
This is the latest in a series of incidents where law enforcement officers had their guns stolen.
Last year, a gun stolen from the car of a Bureau of Land Management officer, was used to kill Kate Steinle at Pier 14 in San Francisco.
BART's former police chief, Gary Gee, says he's not surprised about the gun theft, because home burglaries are so common now in San Francisco.
He also says it would be hard for the thief to try to impersonate an officer.
But, there are ways that people can protect themselves if that happens.
"You can show anyone a badge," said Gary Gee. "But I would hope if anyone came up to you and said I'm a police officer and showed you a badge that you'd also ask to see some accompanying I.D."
Gee says officers are required to show their I.D.'s and badges when requested.
He also says every gun owner should have lock boxes to keep their guns away from thieves and unsuspecting children.
Gee adds that people should disable their guns, so no one can use them, if they are stolen.