While Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith cleaned his plate inside Saltgrass Steakhouse for lunch on Saturday, thieves rolled up to the parking lot out back and ripped a total of ten guns from Smith's truck and a second vehicle belonging to Waller County Precinct 4 Commissioner Justin Beckendorf.
As Fox 26 first reported earlier this week, Beckendorf was robbed of two guns, and Smith's 2006 Ford F-250 lost a rather astounding eight firearms, including a machine gun (because what kind of Texas sheriff drives to the steakhouse without a pick-up full of guns?). Smith's "official" windbreaker jacket was also stolen. According to Fox 26, Smith and Beckenford were attending a county luncheon at the steakhouse.
Smith explained to Fox 26 that he was ridin' strapped in grandpa's Cadillac because Waller County is a pretty big area to cover and he has to be ready to go on SWAT calls at all times. You'd think Smith's apparent hyper-preparedness would've led him to put some sort of preventative measure in place to keep people from stealing guns from his car in broad daylight— like, maybe a loud car alarm or a better security system (to be clear, we haven't received the offense report yet from Waller County, so we don't know much at this point about the particulars of the robbery— if the car was left unlocked, if the lock was picked, or if the windows were shattered in a smash-and-grab).
Smith's had himself a pretty rough year. First, Sandra Bland was found dead in her cell at Waller County jail in July, putting Smith under intense national scrutiny. His jail got slammed by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards shortly after for substandard training in handling potentially suicidal inmates. As protesters converged on Waller County this summer, information resurfaced in national news outlets about Smith's suspension and eventual firing from his former post as chief of police in Hempstead in 2007 following allegations of police brutality and racism. In August, he was caught on video calling a local pastor peacefully protesting outside his jail a Satanist.
Now, he's been robbed blind of some pretty serious firepower. Poor guy.
At least we know what's on his Christmas list: more guns, probably. Let's hope Santa just gives him a football or something else that won't endanger the public when it falls into the wrong hands.
Update 11:30 a.m.:
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According to the Waller County incident report obtained by the Houston Press this morning, the burglars broke the lock on the driver's side door of Smith's truck, and also broke the lock on Beckendorff's Dodge Ram. Among the eight guns stolen from Smith's vehicle was a Heckler and Koch UMP .45 submachine gun, which is described on its manufacturer's website as "a highly-effective, economical alternative for military and law enforcement applications," which doesn't sound like something you want to leave behind unattended in a parking lot.
The report also says Beckendorff "did not realize his vehicle had been burglarized until speaking with Sheriff Smith" the next morning.
You can read that full report here: