Two guns were stolen from Colorado Representative-elect Ron Weinberg’s vehicle while it was parked overnight at the Colorado Capitol.
Weinberg, the Loveland Republican chosen by a vacancy committee in November, had stayed a couple of days in Denver for legislative training and parked his work truck in his designated parking spot at the state Capitol building. When he was leaving Friday morning, he noticed his car had been ransacked and multiple items were taken out of it.
He thinks it occurred between Thursday night and Friday morning.Weinberg reported it to Colorado State Patrol and Denver police at about 9 a.m. He then found out that some of his work and personal property — including two unloaded pistols, house keys and a photo album — were stolen, Weinberg told The Denver Post.
Only one magazine was in the vehicle, separated from the gun, Weinberg said. One of the guns was in his center console and the other was stored behind the back seat. He provided the guns’ serial numbers to police.
Nothing was stolen from the truck bed, which held thousands of dollars of tools and a generator, he said.
Denver police confirmed that officers had received a report about stolen firearms at the Capitol, but a spokesperson would not provide an incident report or additional information, citing the ongoing investigation. Police are still investigating whether the vehicle was locked at the time of the theft or if someone could have used a “bump key” to get in, according to Weinberg.
Weinberg said he is typically very careful about locking his vehicle and “if I know myself, I’m always overlocking.” Police are reviewing available footage and Weinberg said he’s cooperating with the investigation.
“What I think I would have been thinking (is) that it would be the most secure location in the whole state,” Weinberg said of where he parked at the Capitol.
According to the Denver Police Department’s online crime data collection, between Jan. 6, 2022, and Jan. 5, 2023, there were 467 reports of theft from a motor vehicle in Capitol Hill.
There was damage inside the vehicle, but Weinberg said he hasn’t noticed damage to the exterior. He drove it back to Loveland after making the report.
He said he hasn’t been able to sleep, and “I just couldn’t imagine ever hearing that something that belongs to me could do ill will to anybody. It hurts me sincerely.”
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, Weinberg said, as he tries to figure out what to do with his business and start his new role at the Capitol, and normally, he doesn’t leave guns in his vehicle. But Weinberg had gone shooting with his 7-year-old son to teach him gun safety at a range, he said, and “it was an oversight.”
The representative reported the theft to GOP House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, but Lynch declined to comment, saying it was not a caucus issue.
Colorado House Speaker-designate Julie McCluskie, a Dillon Democrat, called the incident in a written statement extremely serious and added that “we are deeply concerned that Representative-elect Weinberg’s irresponsible actions have allowed dangerous weapons into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.
“This is exactly why we have pursued legislation to promote responsible gun ownership, and why we will introduce life-saving measures this session to reduce gun violence and improve safety in our communities,” she said.
Weinberg, who served as the Larimer County GOP chair and on the Loveland Planning Commission, was chosen to serve in the House District 51 seat after the sudden death in October of former Rep. Hugh McKean. The late representative was set to be reelected for the 2023 term as the only candidate on the ballot for House District 51.
McKean was first elected to the House in 2016 and elected as the House minority leader in 2020. Amy Parks, McKean’s partner, was selected by the vacancy committee to serve in McKean’s seat until January.
The new legislative session begins Monday.
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