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 (a WWII bolt action SKS) — plus a Thompson sub-machine gun (semi-auto version), 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 (assist them in their burglary) the apartment without her consent. Once inside, they raided the gun rack (stole), 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 (property and means of personal protection) 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.
Cops Confiscate Lakewood Lady’s Arsenal; Motive Pending | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog