Man turns in SLO police chief’s gun in Los Osos

Deanna Cantrell

A little more than a day after apparently stealing San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell’s gun, which she left in an El Pollo Loco bathroom stall, a man turned in the weapon at the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s substation in Los Osos.

At about noon Wednesday, Cantrell was eating lunch at El Pollo Loco on Los Osos Valley Road when she went to the restroom and inadvertently left her personal firearm in the stall. Having realized her mistake, she returned to the restaurant shortly afterwards and found the gun had been stolen.

On Thursday evening, a man called the sheriff’s office and said his brother-in-law was in possession of Cantrell’s firearm. The caller said he would bring his brother-in-law to the Los Osos substation to return the weapon.

Skeeter Carlos Mangan, 30, turned in the firearm, and sheriff’s officials confirmed it was the missing gun, according to police. Investigators then went to Los Osos to recover the weapon and interview Mangan.

Mangan admitted during an interview with investigators that he found the gun in the El Pollo Loco restroom. The Los Osos man said he put the firearm in his pocket and returned home, police said.

The city of SLO is thanking the community for sharing information online and on social media about the missing firearm. Broad community awareness helped officers quickly identify Mangan, police said.

Meanwhile, the city has indicated an investigation into the incident will occur. The city will review personnel policies and appoint a third-party or a city investigator to conduct an investigation, Human Resources Director Monica Irons said. [Tribune]

If a city employee conducts the investigation, it will not be a member of the SLO Police Department, but rather a staffer from another department with the expertise related to the matter. Following the investigation, city officials will determine whether disciplinary action should be taken, Irons said. 

Cantrell said she fully expects to be disciplined by the city and has no qualms about any punishment she might face.

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