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Sarasota Police say gun found on Booker Middle School bus was stolen

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Posted at 6:15 PM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 17:55:27-04

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Sarasota Police are now charging five teenagers after a handgun was found on a school bus from Booker Middle School on Thursday. They say the gun is one of two that were stolen earlier this month.

Sergeant John Todd says it didn't take Sarasota Police long to realize where the gun found on a Booker Middle School Bus came from.

"Back on the 15th, there was actually three residential burglaries at the Bellasol apartment complex," says Todd. "In one of these apartments, the burglars took two revolvers."

"One of these revolvers ended up being the one that was taken to school."

Now, one 13-year-old student and three 14-year-old students are facing charges ranging from possession of a gun on school property, armed burglary of an occupied dwelling, and several others.

Eighteen-year old Juan Hernandez, who was on probation, has also been arrested and charged. Police think he may have been a friend.

"It's a heck of a way to get introduced to the criminal justice system," says Todd. "These are very serious charges, so they're going to have to learn a very important lesson here. The hard way."

A resident at Bellasol says the break-ins aren't a surprise, but the suspects are.

"You never know where it's going to happen," said the man with the first name Farbo. "Parents, they got to watch more."

Parents of students on the bus were called directly according to the Sarasota County School District. All other parents received an automated message from principal LaShawn Frost.

Friday, parents say they were astonished by the news. Some want more to be done, others like Eloise Harris aren't sure what can be.

"I don't know what else they can do but what they did if they found it," says Harris, who's grandson goes to Booker Middle.

The school district's director of safety Michael Andreas told us in an email Friday that his office would review police's investigation once it's complete.

When asked about increasing security, he writes, "We have no current plans to add metal detectors at our schools."