Oak Bluffs recovers missing rifle

A Bushmaster M-4 rifle like this one has been recovered by the Oak Bluffs Police Department.

The Oak Bluffs Police Department has recovered the Bushmaster M-4 rifle that was found to be missing in October, according to a press release. The matter is still being investigated.

“As previously reported, on or about Oct. 25, 2021, it was determined that an Oak Bluffs Police Department M-4 patrol rifle appeared to be missing. Chief Erik Blake has reported that the weapon has been recovered, and is therefore not an issue to public safety. As this is still an ongoing investigation and an ongoing personnel matter, no further comment is available,” the release, signed by select board chair Brian Packish, states.

The rifle was checked out nearly three years ago, and was discovered missing after a routine inventory.

After the gun was designated missing, the town launched an independent investigation, and placed an unnamed police department employee who checked out the gun on paid administrative leave. The select board’s last three meetings have included executive sessions to “discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than professional competence, of an individual, or to discuss the discipline or dismissal of, or complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member, or individual, and not to reconvene in open session.”

The Times has asked about those proceedings, but has been told they remain confidential.

Police Chief Erik Blake previously told The Times the gun was semiautomatic and a “.223 caliber patrol rifle,” and is commonly referred to as an assault rifle.

The Oak Bluffs rifle was the second gun to go missing from an Island police department that has come to light this year. 

In Tisbury, records uncovered by The Times reveal a Glock handgun went missing from the Tisbury Police Department armory. A former sergeant and a former chief each said the other was last to be in possession of it. While former Tisbury Police Chief Mark Saloio suggested the town should hire an outside investigator to get to the bottom of the situation, the town didn’t do so.

His successor, Tisbury Police Chief Chris Habekost, later told The Times he didn’t think the situation warranted an outside investigation. That gun hasn’t been found.

Records requests made by The Times also revealed the Tisbury Police Department hired a Chilmark Police officer who allegedly stole a gun that had been turned in to the Chilmark Police Station for destruction. An internal investigation found that officer lied to Tisbury Police Chief Dan Hanavan about the incident. The officer was given a suspension, and later promoted to sergeant, after which he falsely arrested a man, based largely on the way he walked.


  1. “And is therefore not a matter of public safety.” ???
    So, the Oak Bluffs Police Dept, who “lost” this rifle in the first place, is still roaming our streets and “no issues of public safety.” ?

  2. Get you facts straight. It was not the second rifle to go missing. You even state that in the next paragraph that the other gun is a handgun. Also commonly referred to as an assault rifle but it it not.

    • A rifle with a 30 round magazine that can kill a dozen people in under 10 seconds. It’s certainly not a bb gun, but feel free to quibble over semantics.

    • The hand gun that is missing is an assualt pistol.
      It was designed to kill people as fast as you can pull the trigger

  3. Does “commonly referred to as” make it a fact? Where is the second “riffle” that went missing? Your article states a second riffle went missing and then the article discusses a Glock, which is a handgun. Unfortunately, inaccurate reporting does not matter these days. Just be the first to see put it out, regardless if it’s false, fake or inaccurate. Be better!

    • The two guns that went missing are both assault guns.
      They are both designed to kill people as rapidly as possible.
      People who lose guns should not be allowed to have guns.
      We know that the Island has at least incompetent cops.
      Think about some kid finding the M-4 and bringing it to school to show that bully…..

      • We all, hopefully, just watched the Rittenhouse trial. Didn’t ADA’s Binger and Lunchbox make a big stink about how Kyle had an AR-15 and Grosskruetz only had a handgun?

    • M V Times is a private company that is not obligated to publish anything.
      In Communist countries publishers must publish, or perish, what ever the government tells them to publish.
      You know nothing about Communism
      I am going to guess that you have never been to a Communist country.
      You just mouth Trumpist trigger words.

    • The article was about dumb cops who lose guns.
      Are you trying to say that MVT is Communist or that dumb cops are Communist?
      Are people who call out dumb cops Communists?

  4. It is apparent that Chief Blake has a very liberal idea of what public safety is… how about the police do not need to have this type of weapon. If they can’t keep track of it how can they be expected to use it appropriately. It truly is time to regionalize law enforcement on the vineyard and hold them accountable to be safe and professional, everything they currently are not. These Barney Fifedoms have got to go…
    I also certainly hope Oak Bluffs will not follow the Tisbury lead on lack of transparency and produce the documents requested by the Times, as they should, without a monumental struggle.

    • Unfortunately, regionalization will never happen because the people in power over the police departments will never relinquish that authority.

      • The people with the power over the police are we the people.
        Regionalization is not a guestion of if but a question of when.
        The schools are regionalized for good reasons, economy of scale and removal from micro politics.
        Pay one good police chief not seven friends of Selectmen.

        • I agree with you. All municipal departments should be regionalized. This island would save millions. The people with the power will never allow it. Good luck getting that on ballots!

  5. It’s a Christmas miracle!

    Is the Oak Bluffs rifle the second RIFLE to go missing? Is there another rifle adrift? Or is this the second firearm, after the revelation that Tisbury “can’t find” a Glock pistol, for YEARS.
    Surely impossible one of the Good Guys at TPD might have stolen it, right?
    I’m confident the police will investigate themselves, and find no wrongdoing.

    Meanwhile, citizens of these island communities grow more and more concerned about who these people are, that “protect and serve”, and patrol (prowl?) our streets and byways, and the massive potential liabilities to which their questionable ethics and damaged psyches expose these towns’ purses.

    Those that aren’t concerned simply aren’t paying attention (Despite the yeoman’s work the MV Times has done reporting on these important matters).

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall of these secret OB meetings! I think this illustrates perfectly the obvious need for a civilian oversight committee, not only for OB, but for the necessary and inevitable #MVLEDPD that is coming.

    Please help us, Maura Healey; You’re our only hope.

    May the Force be withered.


        • Obviously wrong.
          Glock began making assault long weapons in 2017 to compliment their line of short assault weapons.

          • It’s the Glock Perfection.
            You can find out all about it in about .97 seconds.
            I had never heard of a Glock long gun either.
            The article made me curious so I Googled it.
            Of course some Glock Fan Boys have fitted Glock Assault Pistols with butt stocks.
            You can accurately blow of 33 rounds in about 8 seconds.
            Not a whole lot of muzzle energy but with 33 rounds you are goIng to drop the perp.

  6. You know there’s a problem when certain individuals get more riled up about whether you call something a “rifle” or an “assault weapon” or simply a “gun” instead of the fact that a weapon that shoots bullets and kills people is missing in the community. #priorities (face palm)

    • Expecting facts to be correct in an article that is going to be read by thousands of people is wrong? The author of this article chose the words for a reason.

        • I scanned above, Jacqueline, and must have missed where you corrected the MV Times, too, for not know the difference between a “RIFLE “ and a handgun.

          • Yes, Joseph, I do have thoughts about Smollet. I see him as a pathetic idiot whose sick crime will often inspire racists to mention him out if the blue in any conversation where he has absolutely nothing to do with the topic. Why do you ask?

            The Times acknowledged and corrected their error, a mistake obviously not intended to mislead anyone. That’s enough for normal people.

      • What was the author’s reason for his choice of words?
        Was he trying to point out some serious flaws in our Island’s police forces or was he just promoting Communism (the 2021 Trumpist buzzword of the year).

        An automatic is an automatic no matter the barrel length.

          • Do they both shoot bullets and are designed to kill people? That’s really all I need to know. But please, continue to deflect with your semantics drivel.

        • Albert– You and I seem to agree often, but will disagree with you here. I think “SOCIALISM” is the 2021 trumpist buzzword of the year.

  7. Kind of is a significant distinction sine a semi automatic gun is legal and a fully automatic gun is illegal. That is a perfect example of how people are manipulated.

    • Fully automatic guns are legal.
      The M-4, as purchased by Oak Bluffs, is a fully automatic gun for three rounds and then you have to pull the trigger yet again.
      How inconvenient is that?
      All M-4s can be easily converted to empty the magazine mode with just one trigger pull.
      You have been manipulated.

  8. Would it be possible for us to Block some people like `FaceBook` does so we dont have to see their comments? C.A.C.

    • Funny how you sell yourself as a patriotic defender of the Constitution, until you disagree with someone’s comment and suggest they be silenced.

      • No part of his comment suggests anyone be silenced or unable to post (like Twitter did to President Trump). He just does not want to read what some other people post, not restrict said individual from being able comment. Big difference!

        • Did you see the destruction of the Constitution on Jan 6.
          Those dirt bags are in, or going, to jail.
          It appears that you did not have enough “Patriotism” to defend Trump from ‘those’ people who stole his election.
          At least you defended us from the Vietnamese women and children.
          You must have some great Naplam stories.
          Did you feel that everything you did in Vietnam was Constitutional.
          It not did you turn yourself in?
          Get right with God?
          Woody, the majority of MVT commenters would like to see your inane comments blocked.
          Particularly your superior interpretation of the meaning of Our Constitution.

        • In other words, he wants to only see opinions that agree with his views. That’s precisely what’s wrong with our discourse right now.

      • So many of you are trying to destroy our Constitution `etc. etc.` and at Record Speed before the next election!!
        Us trying to defend our Constitution is very close to being all in Vain!
        Oh yeah I did find the “X” in the corner J & D, Thanks!
        {So glad we still have the 2nd Amendment.}

        • Woody– I’m just gonna ask you here.. I don’t need a reply, since you can look it up. Now, before you look it up, how many amendments to the constitution are there ?
          Say that number in your head, and then look it up.
          I invite everybody to try it.
          And while you are on your “test” about the constitution, can you accurately number and explain what 8 of them say ? — Just 8 ..
          And here is a hint–8 is less than 1/3 of them.
          If you were wrong, which I am betting you were, perhaps you should rethink the idea about who is assaulting the constitution.
          And then, I would like a response to this question, Woody ; why are you so glad we still have the second amendment ?
          Do you think it was ever in danger ?
          Has there ever been a serious effort to repeal it ?
          Were the “patriots” that stormed the capital while trying to prevent the constitutionally mandated process of the peaceful transfer of power defending the constitution ?
          Or were they trying to drown out the will of the people ?
          As far as I can tell most of the nut cases here who claim to be defenders of the constitution are clueless about anything other than the second amendment.

        • Who and how, precisely, are “so many” trying to destroy OUR Constitution? What parts of the Constitution are you referring to? The biggest threat to the Constitution Ive seen in my lifetime is the attempted overthrow of a free, fair and safe election by a deluded, conspiracy-addled, white-supremacist, Christian Nationalist, violent cult. An election that was legally and legitimately certified by every state and reviewed under 62 different lawsuits. And for the first time in our history, a violent insurrection, antagonized by the losing candidate stormed the Capitol, causing death and destruction. And you’re worried about the sanctity of the 2nd Amendment? Really? That’s what y’all are concerned about? There are more guns than people in America, and you’re worried about guns. Ok. Priorities I guess.

    • woody.. yes, it is possible to block people here — there is a little “x” in the top right corner of your browser.
      Click it once and you will be forever saved from other people’s opinions..

  9. At the end of the day.,
    This is surreal.
    Guns are missing? When I lived on the Vineyard ( my home)
    I would be amazed
    Tthat I oassed more law enforcement vehicles than everyday citizens
    We need a full force state police presence here?
    A full force sheriffs dept?
    A full force police depth in all six towns?
    And! Tisbury snd OB- with all this ( over kill) support is misplacing guns??
    Rifles- hand guns – whatever – It’snot fair to the island community.
    It’s truly not.

    • C.Leland–perhaps that strong police presence is why we have a low crime rate.

      And typo’s notwithstanding, it seems you were trying to say that when you lived here ,you passed more law enforcement vehicles than private citizens…
      Just wondering, as you look at it now, do you consider that statement to be a lie, an exaggeration, or the truth ?

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