A six-month Bay Area News Group investigation into lost and stolen law enforcement guns in California found that cops often left weapons unsecured in vehicles, resulting in thefts. The news group’s analysis of six years of recent data showed that nearly 1,000 weapons are now unaccounted for on the streets.

In some instances, weapons had “been left on tailgates, car roofs and even atop a toilet paper dispenser in a car dealership’s bathroom. One officer forgot a high-powered assault rifle in the trunk of a taxi.”

California’s secretive police personnel laws often make it difficult to find out what happened to cops who left guns unsecured. The Bay Area News Group created an online database that allows gun owners to type in their weapon’s serial number to be sure they aren’t in possession of a stolen police gun.

 For more on this investigation see the story by NBC Bay Area.