Police found him behind a dumpster with a gun. It may have been stolen from a fire evacuation zone.

Christian Benjamin, 20, of Redding.
Christian Benjamin, 20, of Redding. Redding Police Department

Redding police have arrested a man found with a loaded handgun that officers believe may have been stolen from a wildfire evacuation zone.

At 8:12 a.m. Thursday, Officer Travis Braud was on duty helping secure fire evacuation areas when he saw two men behind a Carl’s Jr. at 1800 Eureka Way, according to a Redding Police Department news release. The restaurant was in an area that had recently reopened, but was near an evacuation zone, according to the department.

Braud approached the pair, who tried to hide behind a dumpster, the release said. Braud searched Christian Benjamin, 20, of Redding after he said he had a firearm in his waistband, and found a loaded 9 mm handgun, the release said.

Police said Benjamin told them he had found the gun in an alley and took it, intending to sell it. He also told them he had used heroin and meth that morning and was an addict, the release said.

Benjamin was arrested on suspicion of being a prohibited person possessing a firearm, being under the influence of a controlled substance while armed and possession of heroin, the release said.

Redding police are asking anyone with information about the case to contact them at 530-225-4200. They say the handgun possibly was stolen and the owner may be unaware it is missing.

If you have information about any of these people, please call 800-222-7463.