“Probably, [it was] one of those things where we used it for parts and the spare parts probably got discarded at some point -- but again, its inconclusive,” he said. “But we are pretty confident nobody got into our armory and took it.”
In Hyattsville, Maryland, the police department was suspended this past April after an M-16 was stolen from an off-duty officer’s patrol car in July 2010. But the department wasn’t even aware of its suspension until Aug. 27, when ABC News called to inquire.
In a statement to ABC News, the department wrote: “Our agency is currently working with state and federal coordinators of the of the (sic) Military Surplus Program to have the suspension lifted.”
Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told ABC News in a statement, “The department takes its responsibilities very seriously when it comes to property accountability.”
“Thousands of controlled property items have been provided to law enforcement agencies (LEAs) through this program and each are inventoried yearly," Kirby added. "States and LEAs that don't properly comply with this rule can and are suspended by our Law Enforcement Support Office. I'd like to note that over 98 percent of the more than 8,000 participating law enforcement agencies remain in good standing within the program. The fact that these LEAs and states were suspended is evidence that DoD [the Department of Defense] is providing oversight and taking action when LEAs are not providing proper accountability of the equipment entrusted to their use.
"[Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel] is participating in the president's review of all federal programs and funding that enable state and local law enforcement to purchase or obtain military-grade equipment," the statement continued. "Within that, the secretary will be reviewing the 1033 program administered by DoD. It would be inappropriate to speculate on the secretary's decisions before the review is complete.
The Pentagon's "1033 program" is described as the ability for the secretary of defense to "transfer" property to state and local agencies, and includes -- in addition to weapons -- transfer of computers, furniture, safety equipment and uniforms.
ABC News' Dana Hughes Contributed to this report.