A state police AR-15 rifle was returned a few weeks after authorities said it went missing in the Adirondacks region, though they did not provide information about how it got lost or name the person who found it.
The state police reported that the Rock River AR-15 was missing on March 16 and said its last known location was along Route 9 in Chester, located about 85 miles north of Albany.
A resident returned the rifle to the state police station in Chester on Tuesday, the Post-Star of Glens Falls reported.
The resident found the rifle the day it went missing but was not aware until recently that it was the property of the state police, state police spokesperson Kerra Burns told the newspaper.
Police had said that the rifle was not stolen and that there is an internal investigation into how it went missing.
The lost AR-15 incident in the North Country is remarkably similar to one that occurred in Olean in 2018, when a cased AR-15 was lost by a state trooper.
However, that rifle has not been recovered.
On Aug. 14, 2018, state police reported that the rifle was lost sometime in the early morning hours the day before.
The missing firearm was also a Rock River Arms model that was in a soft, black carrying case. It was last seen on Buffalo Street in the vicinity of Interstate 86 in the town of Olean — within a half-mile of the state police’s Homer Street barracks and the Western New York Satellite Crime Lab.
Two and a half years later, state police still cite “an ongoing investigation” in declining to release information about how the rifle was lost. State police previously confirmed the rifle was not stolen off a trooper or out of a state police vehicle, but they have declined to say if they believe a passerby discovered the rifle and kept it.
State police ask anyone with information about the case to call (585) 344-6200.
Possession of an AR-15, like those issued to state police, without proper registration is a felony violation of the NY SAFE Act.