A boy playing in front of his house Monday afternoon found a loaded gun, Modesto police said.
According to Lt. Jolene Gonzales, the 6-year-old boy was playing in the yard in the 2500 block of Miller Avenue at 3:30 p.m. when he found the weapon in the bushes.
"Thank goodness the parents were watching him," Gonzales said. She said the gun was a .357 Magnum.
The family turned it over to police. Investigators said they believe it may have been connected to a stolen vehicle in east Modesto last week. The child's neighborhood is northwest of Yosemite Boulevard and El Vista Avenue.
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Neighbors told police about the car, saying the occupants ran away and may have dropped the gun, Gonzales said.
Authorities are examining the gun for fingerprints and other evidence to determine whether it was stolen or obtained legally and whether it has been used in any crimes.
Gonzales praised the boy's parents for closely supervising him and ensuring that no one was hurt.
"They got the gun and called us immediately," she said.