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SLO County Sheriff’s Office: Felon takes weapon left in jail lobby bathroom by employee

Matthew Alexander Goldsmith
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff
Matthew Alexander Goldsmith

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - A man released from the San Luis Obispo County Jail faces charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. But, exactly how Matthew Alexander Goldsmith, 51, found the weapon is what investigators are looking into.

The Sheriff's Office reported one of its civilian employees with a concealed weapons permit left the firearm in the jail lobby bathroom about 9:45 Monday morning. The employee had just arrived to work and was in the process of taking a COVID test when investigators say Goldsmith saw the gun in the bathroom and took it.

Officials said Goldsmith, a transient who had been arrested the day before for being drunk in public, left in a vehicle toward the city of San Luis Obispo.

Once law enforcement realized the gun was gone, deputies, CHP and San Luis Obispo Police started searching for Goldsmith. They say they spotted him about 45 minutes later at Santa Rosa and Foothill Boulevard in San Luis Obispo. Officers arrested Goldsmith and recovered the firearm.

A criminal investigation and an internal investigation is underway into the civilian employee's actions.

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C.J. Ward

C.J. Ward is the evening anchor for KEYT News Channel 3 and the station’s lead investigative reporter. To learn more about C.J., click here

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