How Easy Is It to Buy an Armored Truck?
It was the shootout at the Dallas Police headquarters on June 13 that made headlines.
The deranged gunman, James Boulware, assaulted officers from the safety of a van reinforced with armor plating and bulletproof glass; a so-called "zombie apocalypse assault vehicle,” according to an ad from the company that sold it.
Boulware bought it on eBay for $8,250, just five days before the shootout.
So how easy is it to buy an armored truck? INSIDE EDITION found one that used to be owned by a police SWAT team for sale on the Internet in Southern California.
The owner, Ed McManus, is asking $25,000 for what his Craigslist ad described as a "SWAT truck [with] armored body, bullet-resistant glass all the way around."
INSIDE EDITION’s Jim Moret asked the owner, “So how many gun ports does it have?”
McManus said, “Five -- two on each side, one in the rear.”
While taking Moret for a ride in the armored truck, McManus said, “It's easier [to drive] than my pickup.”
You can still read the faded decals: “S.W.A.T.” and a logo that says: “City of Chula Vista.” That's right, the truck was once owned by the Chula Vista Police Department.
McManus said he bought it on a whim six months ago from an auction.
“And it's perfectly legal to buy and sell these?” asked Moret.
“I took it to the DMV and nobody said a word,” McManus responded.
He said he would be careful about who he sells the truck to. “After what's happened in the world today, I'd hate to have to see this get in the wrong hands,” he said.
INSIDE EDITION found many other similar vehicles for sale. Another vehicle, once used as an armored Brink’s-style bank truck, is selling for $11,000, and is, according to the Craigslist post, "the best end of world, Apocalypse vehicle."
Jeff Funicello told INSIDE EDITION he bought the bank truck to market his gym about 10 years ago.
He showed off all the capabilities of the truck including eight gun ports, an interior sprinkler system, and an extremely tight turn radius – the better to get out of tough jams.
“You can practically drive over a landmine with this thing,” he said. “The floor is just steel.”
Funicello said he isn't concerned about who might end up owning it.
“I don’t believe it’s anything to worry about,” he said. “People who are calling are mostly people who want to promote their business with a traveling billboard, like I did.”
But security expert Steve Kardian said the armored vehicles should not be sold to the public.
“It's a moving armored shield, and it’s going to cause law enforcement a lot of difficulty because it’s going to be harder, much harder, to stop that vehicle,” he said.
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