A guard's personal pistol has not been recovered since it was reported missing nearly a year ago from a secured gun locker in a locked office at the Stanislaus County Honor Farm.
An investigation concluded that no crime was committed, said Sheriff Adam Christianson, who oversees custody operations at the honor farm near Grayson.
The disappearance of the .40-caliber weapon came to light because Deputy Cory Phipps, 45, filed a claim with the county last week seeking $464 in replacement costs for the Glock 22, a law enforcement favorite.
With permission from superiors, Phipps often secured his personal weapons, car keys and wallet in a gun locker, he said in the claim. Another key to the lockers was kept inside a locked metal box inside a sergeant's office, he said.
Phipps realized the then- 7-year-old gun was gone on March 10, a day after securing it with two gun magazines in locker No. 7, and he reported it immediately, he said. The magazines were not taken, he said.
"The overall atmosphere over the next few days was that of, 'It will show up; don't worry about it,' " Phipps said in the claim. When it hadn't shown up six days later he filed a formal report, but an investigation wasn't started for six months, he said.
Investigators found no evidence the locker was forced open, said County Supervisor Jim DeMartini, whose district includes Grayson and the honor farm. Phipps called him for help, DeMartini said.
"If it was stolen, it would have had to be another deputy who did it," DeMartini said. "It's hard to believe another deputy would do it."
Guards use standard-issue weapons on duty and are allowed to store personal firearms if they have concealed- weapons permits, Christianson said.
Phipps' permit was suspended after the Glock vanished, he said in the claim. The permit had allowed him to carry the Glock as well as a 9 mm Cobra revolver and a .45-caliber Sig Sauer.
The Glock was entered as missing or stolen into a national database shared by law enforcement agencies, Christianson said. "If found or used in a crime, we would be notified immediately," the sheriff said.
The 43-year-old honor farm houses about 350 inmates, including some who are sentenced and others awaiting trial.
Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2390.