Ghost guns Ross store
Police escort the suspect outside the Ross store in National City. Photo credit: OnScene.TV

Police arrested a man in National City Thursday after he left a backpack behind in a store and an employee found a loaded firearm inside.

The male suspect, 21, was in a dressing room inside the Ross store on Highland Avenue, and when he left, a worker entered to clear out the space, according to OnScene.TV.

The employee found the backpack inside, and upon opening it, saw the handgun, along with ammunition. The store called in National City police at about 10:30 a.m.

Officers made contact with the suspect when he returned to the store seeking the bag.

They determined the firearm was a ghost gun and that the bag also contained an illegal 34-round magazine. Officers arrested the suspect, and during a search also found what was described as “a very large sum of cash.”

The suspect refused to give police permission to search his vehicle, parked outside the store with no license plates. Investigators planned to obtain a warrant for the search of the Nissan Altima.

Authorities dub privately made firearms lacking serial numbers “ghost guns.” They fear those who otherwise would not be permitted to possess firearms opt to purchase the unmarked weapons, often assembled from kits that can be obtained without background checks.