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Handgun linked to juvenile burglary suspect caught at junior high
The Turlock Police Department is investigating the discovery of a handgun that has been linked to a juvenile burglary suspect that was caught breaking into Turlock Junior High School.
Just before 3:30 a.m. on Friday, the Turlock Police Department  received a burglary alarm call at Turlock Junior High School, 3951 N Walnut Road.
The officers arriving at the scene located a juvenile male in the office and took him into custody on suspicion of burglary.
Around 7 a.m. Friday the police department received a call reporting that a handgun had been found in a backpack style purse near Walnut Elementary School at 4219 N. Walnut Road.
The purse was unique in design and contained other personal items, said Turlock Police spokesman Lt. Neil Cervenka.
"The astute responding officer was aware of the burglary that occurred prior to his shift at Turlock Junior High School which is two blocks from where the purse and gun were found," Cervenka said.
The police said they searched the backpack purse and that it turned up evidence that led to "a business which provided surveillance video."
The video did show the suspect carrying the backpack purse that contained the gun.
The gun is believed to have been stolen recently from a residence in the area of the schools.
 "Detectives are actively investigating the many aspects of this case and following up on leads," Cervenka said. "There will more information released at a later time."
 “The safety of our children is paramount for our officers," said Turlock Police Chief Jason Hedden. "They left no stone unturned to quickly come to a resolution. It appears the gun found on the schoolgrounds was fruits of an earlier burglary and had nothing to do with school nor does it appear the suspect had any intent to use it at the school.”
The Turlock Police Department asks that anyone with information regarding this incident, to call Detective Raul Garcia at (209) 664-7314. You can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 extension 6780 or email at