Los Osos man returns chief’s missing gun

July 12, 2019

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. [Cal Coast Times]

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.


No one stole her gun, she lost it. She left it laying loaded in the crapper where a child might have found and handled it with deadly result. She is an unqualified, irresponsible excuse for that position and no one in that city government that they appoint to review this will have the qualifications or the balls to handle it right. This is how government works now.


Betcha Skeeter and Cantrell will be in gun safety class together. At lunch break, they can go to El Pollo Loco together. Skeeter- please remind Cantrell to go back and check her stall before washing hands.


So she fully expects to be disciplined by the city and has no qualms about any punishment she might face. Really! I wonder which of her wrists will be lightly slapped? And by whom?


Allowing the city to self investigate this matter would be a joke. Who remembers AG City Attorney Tim Carmel “investigating” the Adams/McClish late night tea party? Public uproar over the phony non-investigation resulted in a REAL investigation. Low and behold, Adams was found to have violated personnel policy and ultimately resigned.

SLO would be wise to abide by their policy. Adams sailed off with a nice little bonus based on the fact that Ferrara & Carmel attempted to save Adams’ skin rather than following theirs. There’s a price to pay for not adhering to policy.


SLO dodged a bullet on this one.

Regardless, if the Chief violated city policy with her negligence she must be terminated.

Jorge Estrada

He turned in the gun and nobody was injured except the Chief. The major embarrassment to immediately go on TV to explain what had happen lends big credit to her integrity and transparency. Nobody need to be punished, please save the taxpayers on this one and spend the money on a free fire arm safety class for the interested public.


Would she have gone public if she had forgotten the gun and then remembered in time before anybody else knew about it. Doubtful. It would have been her little secret. “Character- what you do when no one else knows.” “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” -John Wooden


Deepsea, nicely said and true… Amazing how so many people do not understand the difference between character and reputation.


Agreed Jorge, she was honest with her mandated gun responsibilities and her neglegence. People really need to focus anger towards Dow and Parkinson, not a semi controversial chief, her orientations, and her relations with Heidi. I understand some people here are sadly, by fact, hateful bigots.



so hateful bigotry only goes one way, eh?


Jorge, she was negligent… no way around it. We’re talking about a loaded firearm in a public environment. The Chief went to a media organization to state and be videoed as to what had happened in an effort to mitigate and CYA.

This is the reality and because of her CYA actions those in government will use this to soften the slap on the wrist. I would not expect anymore than this.

nazbol gang

I wouldn’t have returned it. American law enforcement is known for going after (or worse) good samaritans. This guy could end up in jail for simply removing a gun that could have ended up in the wrong hands (like a child or criminal)


A good samaritan would have turned in the gun immediately, PERIOD. Had he done so, his face would not have been plastered on the internet, and he wouldn’t potentially be facing who-knows-what kind of charges. He wasn’t simply “removing a gun that could have ended up in the wrong hands”, he took it home for Pete’s sake. Imagine how much more simple this entire situation would have been had he simply done the right thing to begin with. The Chief made a horrendous mistake, this guys actions were deliberate and intentional.


Of course! Blame the mentally ill man! Not the person responsible for losing it and keeping the community safe. Why didn’t Deanna think of this sooner? Could have saved her the national vilification.


Nazbol Gang, Mangan knew right from wrong when he picked up the gun. Your perspective of …” removing a gun…” for safety reasons is flawed only because his intent was clearly defined in what he did afterwards, and that was to take it home instead of contacting at least the manager or some authorities.

The “I wouldn’t have returned it” because law enforcement goes after …” good samaritans” indicates you would have done the same thing as Mangan. Are you sure you would not have called 911 to state what you found, or make the worse mistake as Mangan made that will cause nothing but grief.

Mangan’s character is there for all to see and it doesn’t look pretty. From my perspective his intent was to keep the gun and he knew it was wrong.

Rich in MB

This new article is WRONG. You can not “steal” something left in a public bathroom stall….gun, cell phone, or toothbrush.


Huge mistake. He’ll regret that forever. First ,taking it and then handing himself over to the protected class, He easily could have ditched it, to never be found. But now he’s at the mercy of the gang that started the whole thing.


Hope Mr. Mangan doesn’t have a police record. The police are going to comb through his life and publish everything about it. If he has any dirt, that will become the new story; distraction.


Well, I truly believe if he’s honest, he’ll be fine. If not, his life will be changed.


If he was honest he would not have taken the gun. He’s a victim of his own bad judgment.

Mitch C

Some police department bozo suggested that the individual who found the abandoned weapon Ed COULD face criminal charges – for what. If you come across an abandoned weapon do you just leave it so that it can be found by a child or picked up by an individual bent on no good. He found the weapon and returned it to its owner. If I find a $100 bill on Higuera and return it to its owner, will I be charged with theft. Mr. Mangan found an abandoned loaded weapon what was he supposed to do, ignore it and let it be retrieved under tragic circumstances? I think that the Chief has learned a lesson, we all dodged a bullet (pun intended), and we should move on. Anything other than a proclamation of appreciation to Mr. Mangan will be met by me with a quest for the harshest criminal consequences for the Chief – otherwise, let’s just move on.


He could have avoided the entire damn mess had he turned in the gun immediately, as in right away, pronto. The gun was taken on Wednesday and not recovered until Thursday evening some time. Just how many man hours do you suppose we’re spent trying to tack Mr Mangan down, and you think he deserves a proclamation? For what, safekeeping of a LEO’s weapon? Good grief man.


Well said.


Mitch; Mangan took a loaded weapon from a public place left carelessly behind and took it home, he had others options to pursue based on his questionable moral character. His actions indicate It’s unlikely his intent was to return it. The gun was only returned because his face appeared on a security camera and people knew him.

Your analogy between a lethal weapon and a $100 bill just doesn’t hold. Mangan was a thief and he didn’t turn himself in, another person did that. So how do you figure he deserves appreciation? You’re only cogent point which I agree with fully is that “… we all dodged a bullet.”


Like I said, Mangan is the new story, while the Chief’s crime fades away into the ether