Missing M16 from Melbourne Police Department located

Police say officer had rifle at his home

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MELBOURNE, Fla. - A missing military rifle that was unaccounted for during a recent Melbourne Police Department inventory has been located.

Melbourne police said the M16 was in the possession of a police officer and was returned to the Melbourne Police Department.

Police said the rifle was in a secure location at the officer's home.

The rifle had been issued to the officer in the past, but police said an oversight during the audit caused it to be missed.

Melbourne police said an investigation is ongoing.

The recently found weapon is one of 65 rifles that came to Melbourne through the federal Law Enforcement Support Office, which helps distribute military surplus items to law enforcement agencies nationwide.  Melbourne was suspended from further participation in the federal surplus program, preventing the agency from getting a 1981 armored truck that carries police officers.

It's not known if the agency will now be reinstated.

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