Dallas police said they started seeing in increase in stolen equipment during the past year.
The Dallas police are once again looking for thousands of dollars in stolen equipment after an unmarked SWAT vehicle was broken into on Thursday.
Police said the thief broke into the car when it was parked on the 2700 block of Fitzhugh and made off with weapons, ammunition, police uniforms, badges and body armor.
Earlier this month, police said someone stole more than 15,000 rounds of ammuntion from a police shooting range in late September.
A raid jacket, police radio and department-issued pistol were stolen July 18 from a Dallas officer's personal car in Red Oak. Just eight days earlier, another officer's assault rifle and 15 magazines of ammunition were stolen from his DeSoto home.
"A lot of police equipment has been taken, not just in Dallas, but throughout the Metroplex," Senior Cpl. Janice Crowther said.
Between March and August, the department reported 15 active cases involving stolen gear.
"We are hoping these are random burglaries where police officers' equipment just happened to be involved," Crowther said.
"It is not just a local problem," said Danny Defenbaugh, a former FBI agent. "The badges and things of that sort are always going to be a concern, because they can be used for more nefarious purposes," he said.
Last August, law enforcement experts expressed concern that criminals could use the stolen gear to infiltrate high-profile events such as the Super Bowl being held in Arlington in 2011 -- which will likely have police support from several departments.