Mahoning Township Chief of Police Ken Barnes said a number of thefts have been reported within the past two weeks from unlocked vehicles, the latest incident involving a stolen gun.

Fortunately, the gun has been found.

He said, "This incident is clearly a prime example of why it is so important to lock your vehicles, remove valuables and most importantly never leave firearms in your vehicles. This particular event certainly had the possibilities for a much different outcome."

He added, "These types of reports are very frustrating for police officers to take because they are crimes of opportunity and generally speaking are preventable crimes if people would only take the time to listen to us and prevent them."

The alleged theft was reported to police at 12:10 p.m. Monday when a resident in the 2600 block of Mahoning Drive East reported that a fully loaded semi-automatic handgun had been stolen from a vehicle that was parked in the driveway.

The vehicle was unlocked.

The theft happened between 7 p.m. Sunday and noon on Monday.

Barnes said the weapon was found later in the day thrown under a bush on the Mahoning Valley Golf Course just off SR902. Police are retaining possession of the gun and it will be sent to a lab for processing.

Anyone having information concerning this incident is asked is to call at (570) 386-2241 or call the county communications center at (570) 325-9111 who will relay the information to police.