PROVO — Two unloaded handguns were found discarded in the road near Sunset View Elementary School Wednesday. One was picked up by an 8-year-old boy.
Investigators later found the owner of the guns who said he had been cleaning his car, placed two handguns on the roof, and absentmindedly drove off with the weapons still on top.
The odd series of events started about 7:30 a.m. Three children walking to school near 1100 West and 600 South spotted a black 9mm handgun in the middle of the road, said Provo Police Sgt. Mathew Siufanua.
An 8-year-old boy picked up the gun, put it in his backpack and took it to the crossing guard, Siufanua said. The crossing guard took it to the office and called police.
A short time later, a parent who had just dropped off her child at school spotted what she thought was a gun near the curb at 1600 W. 600 South. She called police and responding officers found the weapon and confirmed it was a .25-caliber automatic handgun with "pink grips," Siufanua said.
Investigators initially checked for gun-related crimes in that area over the past two days in case someone may have tried to ditch them after committing a crime, but Siufanua said none had been reported.
Then about noon, a man called police asking if anyone had turned in a weapon, unaware of the news coverage from earlier, Siufanua said.
"He thought he'd only lost one gun," he said.
The man said he had placed the handguns on the roof of his car while cleaning out the trunk of his vehicle, and then lost one each time he made a turn while driving, Siufanua said.
Each gun had magazines inside but no bullets. Police said no charges would be filed, but hoped that good lessons had been learned.