Cops Confiscate Lakewood Lady’s Arsenal; Motive Pending
Posted by Kyle Swenson on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM
Francesca Rice no longer serves in her country’s armed forces, but she brought a piece of the action back home with her.
It seems the Lakewood vet had stockpiled her Edgewater Towers condo with a home arsenal including handguns, shotguns, a sniper rifle — plus a Thompson sub-machine gun, just in case the pizza guy got fresh.
Her cache somehow caught the attention of Lakewood Police, who paid a visit last September. When they found Rice wasn’t home, they asked an obliging employee of the complex to open up the apartment without her consent. Once inside, they raided the gun rack, making off with 13 firearms worth around $15,000. The only problem: They had no apparent reason to.
When Rice kindly asked to have her toys returned, the cops acknowledged that the weapons were legally owned. But they refused to return them without a court order. And so Rice has filed suit in Lakewood Municipal Court.
So far, nobody’s doing much talking. Lakewood Police Chief Timothy Malley declined to speak specifically about the seizure, citing the ongoing lawsuit. He also declined to speak generally about situations in which Lakewood cops would be likely to seize property on a whim. Rice’s attorney did not return Scene’s calls for comment, and Rice didn’t respond to repeated buzzes on her apartment intercom.
Amid all the zipped lips, there’s a moral here for everybody: Gun owners, beware of law enforcement looking to trod upon your rights. And non-gun owners, beware of neighbors who are particularly well prepared for the zombie apocalypse.
Probable cause? Hello?
Guys, pay attention to stuff like this. It is designed to turn those of us who respect the rule of law away from those who enforce the law. Get angry, but get angry at the right people.