Surveillance shows suspect stealing Hillsdale officer's car, gun - KMOV.com

Surveillance shows suspect stealing Hillsdale officer's car, guns and police equipment

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Police say Peter Ray stole  a badge, body armor and the car of a Hillsdale police officer. Credit: St. Louis Co. PD Police say Peter Ray stole a badge, body armor and the car of a Hillsdale police officer. Credit: St. Louis Co. PD
HILLSDALE (KMOV.com) -

Guns, a police badge and body armor were stolen last week, along with a Hillsdale officer's car.

Now, the fear that someone might try to impersonate an officer is over.

In surveillance video from the police department, the chief says you can see the suspect walk upright in the front of the police department, something he calls a brazen act.

But thanks to help from the public, and good police work, the chief says the suspect is now behind bars. The guns he allegedly stole are now back in the hands of law enforcement. 

“We are happy, happy the guns are returned. They are placed into evidence,” said Herb Simmons.  

In the surveillance video from the Hillsdale Police Department, you can see the officer's Jeep Patriot in the lot.

Chief Simmons says Peter Ray riffled through it for upwards of eight minutes before driving off. The keys were likely left inside by an on-duty officer who had jumped out to take another man into custody.

Chief Simmons told News 4 he is so glad it wasn't much worse.

“What would have happened if the officers pulled up and he jumped out of the car with a loaded gun, then we would have had a whole different circumstance,” Simmons said.

Simmons says Ray showed up to the department two different times. In all, police say he went through four cars.

After many hours of investigating, they connected Ray to the case and recovered everything stolen, including a $3,000 radio and other police equipment, like body armor vests.

“Citizens. Citizens came forward and the officer was able to piece everything together,” said Simmons.

Their cameras though only caught some of the suspect's actions. Monday, a company started installed new HD cameras on the department’s main building

The other lesson learned: officers will make sure they lock their cars on the lot.

“Our biggest thing is that the guns are back. The officer's car was returned and so it's all good,” Simmons said.

Ray is no stranger to law enforcement. He’s on probation for robbing an employee of Lumiere Casino last year. In that case, he stuck a cell phone in in the employee’s back, making her believe he had a gun, before snatching her purse.

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