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Waterloo couple finds loaded pistol in playground port-a-potty

By Sarah Fili

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    OMAHA, Nebraska (KETV) — A Waterloo couple found a loaded gun inside a playground port-a-potty.

Douglas County deputies tracked down its owner, and now they hope to learn how the gun ended up there.

A couple walking their dog in a peaceful park near 245th and Dodge streets Friday took a quick break, only to find a shocking surprise.

“They stopped at a port-a-potty, opened the door, and lo and behold, there is a loaded 45 caliber Sig Sauer handgun right on the seat of the port-a-potty,” said Douglas County Sheriff Aaron Hanson. Douglas County deputies processed the pistol in the port-a-potty and then posted it on social media. The gun’s owner saw the picture and called the sheriff’s office.

“He left his loaded firearm in his unlocked vehicle while he was working,” Hanson said.

Hanson said the man’s gun was stolen while he was working on a home in the area and dropped in that bathroom about three hours later a few blocks away. Hanson said they have no idea why but hope to find out who does soon. “We will submit it for NIBIN testing with the ATF, OPD. We will also check it for fingerprints and process it for DNA,” Hanson said.

Hanson said these kinds of crimes are frustrating.

“This type of firearm theft is exactly why we struggle with violence,” he said.

Hanson said stolen guns and straw purchasing are often to blame. While it’s a federal crime to purchase a gun for someone else who can’t legally own one, Hanson said there’s no penalty for the man whose gun was stolen.

“No charges there. There is no state law, no local law against leaving an unsecured firearm in your vehicle,” he said.

Hanson wants gun owners to lock them up so this doesn’t happen again or end worse. “Firearms possession is not only a right, it’s a responsibility. And people need to think through the responsibility part,” Hanson said.

Hanson said he can’t speculate on why the gun was dumped, but said it’s possible the person responsible was leaving it for someone else or got cold feet about committing a crime. If you know anything that can give them some answers, call Douglas County Sheriff Crime Stoppers at 402-444-6000.

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