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Guns found at school were stolen

Weapons were taken from nearby home

Three guns found near Hallinan Elementary last week were stolen during a burglary to a Lake Oswego home in June, according to officials from the Lake Oswego Police Department.

LOPD officer Craig Renning confirmed that the .22 caliber rifle, pellet gun, 12-gauge shotgun and three clips of ammunition are most likely owned by a resident who lived near the school but has sold the home.

The unnamed resident, who police have been trying to reach for several days, lost guns similar in description to those found by three Hallinan students playing in a wooded area last week.

'I've tried to contact him but I have yet to hear back from him,' Renning, a former school resources officer, said of the resident. 'It's highly likely the guns are his.'

Bob Lee, who also lives near Hallinan, contacted police after hearing about the guns. He noticed similarities between the found items and the items his neighbor described losing.

'I didn't think they would add one plus one and get two,' Lee said. 'I just wanted to make sure they were informed of all the facts.'

Police plan to ask to keep the guns for examination and fingerprinting as part of their ongoing investigation into who took and hid them in deep brush about 75 yards from school property.

Students Jack Schwarz, Marcus Wheeler and Jake McKee were planning to build a fort when they happened upon the guns, which were in cases and wrapped in plastic.

The fact that they were stolen explains why they were stashed there, according to LOPD spokesman Mike Hammons.

'Guns raise eyebrows,' he said. 'People don't want a lot to do with them. They know they're bad news.'

And if they're stolen, 'you can't necessarily take them home,' he added.

Hallinan students returned to school on Tuesday. Principal Steven Mauritz said finding out the guns are stolen property gave him a feeling of relief.

'I had a lot of parents that were concerned there was a direct connection between the weapons and the school,' he said. 'This seems to suggest … there's no connection which I think is reassuring to folks. Overall, I am pleased with the news.'

Mauritz added that he's thankful the incident happened during summer break rather than during school. He communicated with Hallinan parents about the situation via a school listserve.

'Parents seem to understand it was a random event that hopefully will never happen again,' he said.

Anyone with additional information should call the LOPD at 503-635-0250.