A Big Pine Key teen is in custody, charged with burglarizing a Sheriff's Office patrol car and stealing guns, ammunition and tactical gear.
The M4 rifle and equipment were recovered overnight after a witness called in a Crime Stoppers tip, reporting that 17-year-old Kalvin Cowger showed her the bag with the stolen items inside. Cowger told her he was going to trade it for drugs. He later told the witness he traded the rifle and bag to a Big Pine Key man for pills.
Det. David Brummer went to the Big Pine man's house and asked him if he had the stolen items. The man was cooperative and allowed the detective to search his house. Inside, Brummer located the M4 rifle and the SWAT gear bag. The man confirmed he received the items from Cowger, but said he didn't know the items were stolen.
Another witness came forward on Wednesday. He said he saw Cowger on September 24th at about 5 p.m. He said Cowger offered to sell him two handguns. He said he refused to buy the guns. The two handguns have still not been recovered.
Brummer later set up an interview with Cowger, who denied knowing anything about the burglary or the stolen items. Cowger was arrested. He was charged with possession of stolen property and theft. More charges and more arrests may be pending.
Detectives are still investigating. The two handguns - a .40 caliber Glock and a .45 caliber Glock - are still missing. Anyone who knows where the guns are should call the Sheriff's Office immediately at 305-289-2351.
The witness who came forward with information which led to Cowger's arrest will receive $1,000.00 from Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys.
"Our thanks go out to Crime Stoppers, for offering this reward and to the woman who came forward with information in this case. She should be commended for her actions," said Sheriff Bob Peryam. "Her information helped to get this equipment off the streets and helped us find the suspect. We appreciate her assistance, and her concern for the safety of the people who live in the area."