Four arrested near Last Call

Police find drugs, guns in stolen cars outside downtown nightclub

Lawrence Police seized a sawed-off shotgun, a rifle and drugs during the weekend from cars parked in the 700 block of New Hampshire – the latest in a series of gun seizures near a popular night club.

Early Sunday morning police were patrolling the parking lot of Borders Books & Music, 700 N.H., when they saw a shotgun on the floor of a green Toyota Camry parked in the lot, LPD spokeswoman Kim Murphree said. They also checked the registration of a gray Toyota Camry parked next to it and found it had been reported stolen from a Kansas City rental company.

About 3:11 a.m., shortly after the 3 a.m. closing time for Last Call, a nightclub at 729 N.H., officers saw a group of people approach the cars. They contacted them and placed three members of the group in handcuffs.

One of the men told officers that the gray Camry belonged to his cousin, that his cousin had been inside Last Call, and that he didn’t know his cousin’s last name, Murphree said.

Eventually, officers determined both cars had been stolen, Murphree said. According to a report, searches of the cars yielded items including:

¢ a Winchester sawed-off shotgun

¢ a 9 mm rifle

¢ two prescription bottles

¢ two baggies containing suspected crack cocaine

¢ a baggie containing suspected marijuana

Police arrested three men and one woman, ages 18 through 21, all from Kansas City, Mo., on charges including drug possession, possession of stolen property and contributing to a minor’s misconduct. They also took two 17-year-old Kansas City girls who were with the group into custody.

As of Monday, no formal charges had been filed against members of the group.

Gun-related incidents near Last Call have been at the heart of a recent debate about downtown safety. In January, police seized six guns from cars parked in lots near the club, and last week someone fired seven gunshots inside the club, prompting owner Dennis Steffes to begin screening all guests with a metal detector.