The agent filed a report about the items with the Metropolitan Police Department “hours later” according to CNN. The report detailed that the agent returned to his vehicle to find the back window “unzipped.” A bag containing all items necessary for anyone to pose as a member of the Secret Service was gone.
The report details that a black Sig Sauer handgun, an APX6000 radio, a pair of handcuffs, a USB flash drive, a black Patagonia bag and a Secret Service badge, number 1266, were all taken.
The agent’s name was not listed, but CNN claimed that he works specifically in the Presidential Protective Division, making the lapse all the more serious.
This incident is just the latest in a long series of potentially life-threatening security errors plaguing the agency.
Earlier this month, a highly critical bipartisan congressional investigation report on the workings of the Secret Service revealed several previously undisclosed security breaches by the agency.
For example, last fall a man masquerading as a member of Congress made it past the Secret Service and walked into a secure backstage area and spoke with President Obama without being properly screened. Five days later a woman walked backstage at another event where Obama was a guest.
The report determined that overall the agency is deeply troubled and is in the midst of a “staffing crisis,” having less agents than it did in 2014, when it was suggested that they hire 280 additional staff.
“The agency’s recent public failures are not a series of isolated events, but the product of an insular culture that has historically been resistant to change,” states the report, compiled by the Republican and Democratic staffs of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Washington Post reported.
The report also criticized the agency for “systemic mismanagement,” citing as an example the staffing crisis, which the report states is the biggest threat to its security.
The investigation found that Obama and whoever next becomes president will face great danger if the problems are not swiftly addressed.
“The situation is getting worse not better,” Representative Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the Oversight Committee, told the Washington Post. “The president is in jeopardy, and he better personally get involved in fixing this.”