Police in Los Angeles have seized over one thousand firearms from a single mansion, though some officers have said that wasn’t even the most intriguing aspect of the raid.
The mansion, and 8,000-square-foot, five-bedroom house was located near the affluent neighbourhood of Bel-Air. And while some officers said they’d never seen that many guns in their lives, it was soon revealed the house was linked to one of the most famous and wealthy families in America.
According to the police who raided the home, ‘guns were everywhere’, and the house looked like it was a ‘hoarder’s paradise’. They found AR-15 military-style automatic rifles, a WW2-era submachine gun, countless handguns and revolvers, and Uzi submachine guns.
It look 30 officers more than 12 hours to clear the guns from the house, which was in complete disarray. The authorities had arrived at the house an anonymous tip.
Lt. Chris Ramirez, spokesperson for the LAPD, told the LA Times:
This is a big stash. It’s beyond comprehension that somebody can have so many weapons in a residence like this, in a neighborhood like this.
The man behind it all is alleged to be 57-year-old Girard Saenz, who was inside the house at the time of the raid. Saenz was arrested on suspicion of violating California’s law regarding assault weapons and machine guns.
Over 1,000 firearms & one person arrested for 30600(a) PC, in one of the largest recoveries in LAPD history. How did this happen?
The LAPD & ATF received info that a person was selling & manufacturing illegal firearms, which led to a search warrant in a Holmby Hills residence. pic.twitter.com/9kWq4vuFnb
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) May 9, 2019
Upon further investigation, it was revealed Saenz was the ‘longtime companion’ of Cynthia Beck – a renowned LA real estate mogul, and that it was she who owned the house. Though it wasn’t clear if Beck had a tie to the firearms, it makes the case even more interesting as the real estate mogul has three daughters with Gordon Getty – the son of oil tycoon J Paul Getty, once considered one of the world’s richest men.
Beck and Getty’s relationship was not a straightforward one however, as Getty was married and had four sons in San Francisco at the time his affair with Beck was revealed. He later publicly revealed he had been living a double life with the two families, though it had reportedly been an open secret in some areas.
LA authorities raided a Bel Air mansion on Wednesday and seized over 1,000 guns after receiving an anonymous tip that a man had been selling weapons illegally. The suspect, Girard Saenz, posted bond on Thursday. @Reuters @ReutersTV pic.twitter.com/9qHMG2Pilj
— Gavino Garay (@GavinoGaray) May 9, 2019
Lt. Ramirez said officers were responding to an anonymous tip:
Lo and behold, they found over a thousand guns of all makes, models and calibers. They were found just laid out in various rooms in the house. There were piles of ammunition on one side of a room. There were piles of guns on the other side of a room.
Police took Saenz into custody, but he was released a few hours later after he posted a $50,000 bond.
The mystery behind the house – just down the street from the Playboy Mansion and less than a mile from Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s home – and its links to the LA elite is yet to be revealed.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.