Suspicious of a litterbug dumping trash in a strip mall, cops in Selden began an investigation that ended with the man's arrest for having a stolen handgun and stolen Magic Markers, Suffolk police said.
Sixth Precinct Crime Section cops were patrolling the mall lot off Route 25 about noon Saturday for shoplifters and car vandals when they saw the man, Frank Smith, "discarding trash onto the parking lot pavement," police said in a statement.
The officers, Chris Standard and Michael Repperger, saw "an unusually large number of various types of marking pens," police said.
Smith, 27, of Brookhaven, admitted stealing the pens, and cops later found Smith had a loaded handgun stolen during a 2005 larceny, police said.
Charges against Smith, who was to be arraigned Sunday, include criminal weapons possession and possession of stolen property, authorities said.
In Suffolk, the Crime Section deters, combats and investigates misdemeanors.