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Firearms cache vanishes from Compton vault

The firearms had been stored in a vacated building on Alameda Street which had been home to Compton's old City Hall

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Los Angeles Gun Buyback press conference. Photo source: Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images embed

City officials report disappearance of 30 firearms — mostly semi-automatics; federal agents from ATF probing

COMPTON — Compton is faced with yet another stumbling block. City officials reported a cache of 30 weapons missing and federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) are investigating, the Compton Herald has learned.

KABC News 7 reported that the discovery was made as Compton City Manager Cecil Rhambo, a former assistant Los Angeles County sheriff, learned last year that Compton had custody of some 200 guns.

“There were some police department weapons. There were some weapons with no owner on file, some weapons registered to other people, some evidence weapons there,” Rhambo told KABC.

The firearms had been stored in a vacated building on Alameda Street which had been home to Compton’s old City Hall. A vault with heavy metal doors and a large combination lock secured the cache, KABC reported.

Rhambo reportedly ordered the sheriff’s department to inventory the weapons and remove them from city property until the Compton city officials could decide what to do with them.

Rhambo told KABC deputies catalogued the guns, but when they returned to retrieve them, they discovered dozens of the weapons — mostly semi-automatics — were missing.

“There were several people at the time who were working who had the combination. I had access to the combination. But over the years I have no idea the number over 17 years who still had access to that combination,” Rhambo said. “The city council, the mayor and myself take it very seriously which is why we ordered this investigation immediately.”

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton and the Los Angeles metropolitan area of California, and the world.

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