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Boozy night ends with Midwest FBI chief’s gun, Rolex swiped from hotel

One of the FBI's top Midwest counterterrorism investigators had his gun stolen from a Charlotte hotel room over the summer. | Cory Morse/AP file photo

One of the FBI’s top Midwest counterterrorism investigators had his gun, Rolex and a wad of cash stolen from his North Carolina hotel room after a night of drinking this past summer.

It happened early on July 10, when Special Agent Robert Manson met a woman at the Westin hotel bar in downtown Charlotte and took her back to his room, according to Jessica Wallin, a spokeswoman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

By 6:30 a.m., Manson noticed the woman was gone — along with his $6,000 watch, .40-caliber Glock and $60 in cash, according to the police report — which was filed by fellow agent Kevin Thuman because Manson was incapacitated by alcohol, the report says.

Manson, an FBI unit chief in the counterterrorism division, oversees terror investigations in the Midwest and Carolinas. FBI spokesman Andrew C. Ames said an internal investigation was underway but to declined to comment further.

Manson identified himself as an FBI agent to the responding officers, and he “was not acting in a law enforcement capacity at the time,” Wallin said in an email.

The theft likely happened sometime between 2 a.m. — when the bar closes, according to the hotel’s website — and 5 a.m., the report says. Neither agent could name the woman suspected of making off with the goods.

Manson works at FBI headquarters in Washington but was in Charlotte for training, sources told The New York Times, which first reported the fiasco on Thursday. The agents told police they had been drinking with women who said they were exotic dancers, the newspaper reported.

Agents are allowed to carry concealed weapons while off-duty, but not while “under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance,” according to federal law. It’s not clear where Manson left his gun.

The incident happened about a week after a similarly embarrassing episode for the FBI in Chicago, when an agent’s SUV was stolen with guns and tactical gear inside after he left the vehicle unlocked and running at a Near West Side gas station. A 17-year-old boy was arrested and charged the next day with vehicular hijacking.

Four months later, no arrests have been made in the Charlotte case, Wallin said. Neither Manson nor Thuman responded Friday to requests for comment.

Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call (704) 334-1600.