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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Someone stole a Salt Lake County deputy's squad car from a Wal-Mart parking lot Wednesday night. Deputies were able to track down the vehicle, but items are missing from inside.
Two deputies responded to the Wal-Mart at 4627 S. 900 East Wednesday night to assist with a medical call. The deputies parked their marked Durangos next to a fire truck that had already arrived and went inside the store to attend to a man who was having a medical emergency.
They returned to the parking lot about 15 minutes later to find one of the vehicles was missing. An attempt to locate was issued and deputies responded with members of the metro gang unit to quickly search the surrounding area.
Deputies found the squad car abandoned about two blocks north and east of the store, on College Street. The vehicle was not damaged, but Lt. Don Hutson says some items were missing.
"A computer and some personal items and some police-related items were missing, but no firearms were taken from the vehicle," he said.
As for the computer, Hutson says residents don't need to worry about the thief accessing police databases.
"There is no potential for compromise of personal identifies or any sort of personal information. This computer has been disabled and does not have access to any of the databases through the county server," Hutson said.
Deputies are following up on leads on the suspect based on witness statements and surveillance video from the store.
Hutson says they discourage deputies from leaving their vehicles unlocked, but in this case the deputy left the vehicle running and the door unlocked.
"This is something that we frankly are embarrassed about. It's an unfortunate incident, but we will do what we can to try and recover this property and find out who is responsible for this theft," Hutson said.
Story compiled with contributions from Randall Jeppesen and Sandra Yi.