Local News

Jul 30, 2014 10:34 PM by LiLi Tan, KSBY News

As lake levels sink, strange items surface

The day police and dive teams pulled a stolen car out of Laguna Lake, a teenager found a gun stuck in the mud nearby.

"We just saw the handle of it and it was covered in mud, so then I just kind of shook it off and it was a hand gun. We were all pretty surprised," said Tate, 15, of San Luis Obispo.

On Sunday afternoon, Tate and his friends say they went to Lake Laguna to look for buried treasure. "It was three teenage guys digging around in the mud," he said.

The lake is so dry in some areas that cracks in ground measure about six inches deep, revealing items such as golf balls, beer bottles, shoes, previously stuck in the mud.

Tate found a Phoenix Arms 25 caliber semi-automatic handgun.

"I was like whoa. Of course, we were like, it's probably a BB gun because you never find guns in lakes since it's San Luis, you know?" Tate said.

However, when he took it home and began cleaning the gun Tate saw part of a serial number. He then called San Luis Obispo Police.

Rangers and Marina workers tell KSBY News, so far, the falling lake levels due to drought is causing items to surface. At press time, Lake Nacimiento marina workers say they've mostly found cell phones and sunglasses and Santa Margarita Lake rangers say they find fishing lures.

Laguna Lake seems to be a treasure trove of expensive trash. Falling water levels have already revealed an old laptop, stolen car and a gun.

"It's a very private lake. I don't know if that plays into it, but being such a large lake and not being near any major roadways if someone's out there, they can go undetected for periods of time," Lt. Jeff Smith, of the San Luis Obispo Police Department, said.

As for any links to the stolen car, "right now we have nothing linking the gun to the vehicle that was found on Monday," Lt. Smith said.

Police are now trying to see if enough corrosion can be removed from the gun in order to recover a serial number and see if it can be linked to any crimes.

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