Cops sometimes face undeserved hatred and vilification from the public they’re sworn to protect and serve. Sometimes, though, something happens that leaves other officers shaking their heads, like when a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer accidentally lost a grenade launcher on Monday.
The incident happened somewhere near the Golden Ears Bridge in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia. The exact location isn’t known because the officer was unaware that he’d lost his 40MM Abrams Airborne Mfg Inc. Less Lethal Multi-Launcher. He also dropped the ammunition that went went it.
The RCMP lost a grenade launcher near the Golden Ears Bridge yesterday and would like it back pic.twitter.com/gmDPuEMydI
— Andrea Woo | 鄔瑞楓 (@AndreaWoo) July 24, 2017
The officer who lost the grenade launcher had stored it in the back of a police truck that was supposed to be covered by a canopy. That canopy was open. When a passing motorist flagged the truck down and alerted the officer to the open flap, the truck was searched and the launcher was gone.
These less-lethal launchers can handle a wide variety of ammunition. Most in use by police is aimed at crowd control. Rubber bullets and tear gas are common, though more aggressive ammunition is available. The tear gas canisters lost with this one were formulated to penetrate glass and drywall.
As soon as the launcher was discovered to be missing, a search commenced. When it wasn’t immediately found, the RCMP asked for the public’s help.
“A thorough search of the area was immediately conducted but the items have yet to be located,” said Staff Sgt. Annie Linteau in a press release. “We are very concerned about the loss of these items and are doing all we can to locate them. We ask anyone who locates these items to refrain from handling them and to call police immediately.”
Though the details of where it was located remain unclear, Goblal News is reporting that the gun was located and returned to the RCMP along with electronic equipment that had fallen out with the gun.
The RCMP is currently investigating the circumstances that led to the initial loss.