Lexington police warn public after finding loaded gun in teen's bedroom

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington police are warning gun owners about being responsible with weapons after a 15-year-old had a loaded firearm in the bedroom.

The police department has a unit that responds to car break-ins and thefts, but they say the public needs to take action with how they store their weapons.

"By no means do we live in a society where you can leave your doors unlocked and your valuables out and loose," Sg.t Jeremiah Davis said. "It's sad, but it's true. So we're asking for help."

Police shared a picture of the 15-year-old's stolen weapon on social media in hopes the public will think twice before leaving it unsecured. Officers received reports of 200 guns stolen each year, and 2019 could exceed that pace. The guns end up in the hands of teens not old enough to buy guns or convicted felons. They are considered a hot commodity on the black market.

"They're not traced back to anyone who's using them," Davis said. "Oftentimes we see these firearms that are stolen from vehicles turn up in shootings or homicides, be it here or be it other parts of the country. These guns sometimes travel a long way before they're actually recovered."

Police urge the public to not only lock vehicles, but also take valuables out of the vehicles at night.