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Gun theft prompts Dewey Beach to purchase gun vaults for police

Delaware Public Media

The Town of Dewey Beach is spending around $8,000 to purchase gun vaults for its four police vehicles.

The Town Council voted unanimously to buy the gun vaults, said Dewey Beach Mayor T.J. Redefer.

“It is critical that police vehicles have a safe and secure place to store their weapons when they’re not on their body or wherever they normally store them when they leave their cars - they need to make sure that those weapons are properly stored and locked,” Redefer said.

Redefer says Dewey officials started looking into gun vaults about a year ago.  The discussion began after a Dewey Beach police sergeant had his Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun stolen from his unmarked and unlocked police car, while it was parked outside of a home in Millsboro in April 2017.


The thief or thieves also stole Sergeant Cliff Dempsys’ two fully loaded .45-caliber magazines, an X-26 Taser, pepper spray, baton and handcuffs.


“You may know that sometime - about a year ago perhaps - there was an incident at the Dewey Beach Police Department where an officer had his gun stolen from his vehicle. This incident led to studies to really look at the police department and how it does things. And it was determined that we needed to have vaults in all of the cars,” Redefer said.

Refeder notes that while the other items have been recovered, the gun remains missing.

The gun vaults have been purchased, but Redefer says he's not sure when they’ll be installed in the Chevy Tahoes that the town’s police officers drive.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.