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NEW BEDFORD (WBZ) ― When New Bedford police officers had trouble finding a gun recently they turned to a dog to get the job done.

Last week, one of the city's community police officers had received a tip that some kids had a loaded gun and were hiding it so they could play with it.

Officers searched the neighborhood, but came up empty.

So they called K9 Officer Gary Beaudoin and his partner Xtra, a black lab trained to sniff out weapons and explosives.

A short time after they arrived, Xtra found a gun wrapped in a garbage bag under a bush.

"This is a spreading phenomenon across the country, including New Bedford called 'block guns,'" said New Bedford police Lt. Jeffrey Silva.

"What happens is that criminals hide guns in various blocks under bushes, flower pots, in playgrounds, etc to be used when needed. This way they don't have to risk getting arrested for carrying a firearm or having it in the house if it is searched with a warrant."

The owner of the gun has not been found. There have been no arrests.
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