When police arrived at the mansion in a posh Los Angeles neighborhood, they were shocked by what was inside: more guns than some officers had ever seen in their lives.
The presence of a thousand firearms, it turns out, was not the most interesting part of the raid.
The Los Angeles police department announced one of the largest recoveries of guns in LAPD history this week, coming from an 8,000-square-foot, five-bedroom home located near the upscale Bel-Air neighborhood.
The home, reporters quickly discovered, was linked to one of the most famous wealthy families in America. Here’s what we know.
Guns were everywhere in the house, which police said was in complete disarray and appeared to be a “hoarder’s paradise”, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“I had never seen so many weapons in my career of 31 years,” lieutenant Chris Ramirez told reporters. “That’s such a big arsenal in a residence like this, in this type of neighborhood. It’s astounding.”
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.
The arsenal included AR-15 military-style automatic weapons, a second-world-war-era Thompson submachine gun, .44-caliber handguns, .357 magnum revolvers, long guns with intricate carving, and an Uzi 9mm submachine gun with a silencer, according to the LA Times.
It apparently took roughly 30 law enforcement personnel over 12 hours to remove all the weapons.
Why were these 1,000-plus guns there? It remains unclear. What is known is that the property is owned by Cynthia Beck, an LA real estate mogul who has three daughters with Gordon Getty, the son of oil tycoon J Paul Getty.
Beck was in the news 20 years ago when it was revealed that she was having an extramarital relationship with Gordon Getty, then considered one of the world’s richest men. It is not clear whether Beck has a connection to the stockpile of weapons.
A 57-year-old man named Girard Saenz, who was at the home during the police raid, was arrested on suspicion of violating state law that restricts the manufacture, distribution and sale of assault rifles and other firearms. His exact relationship to Beck was not entirely clear, though the LA Times described him as a “longtime companion” of hers, citing court records.
The paper reported that Saenz has been a licensed general building contractor for 25 years and has a current business address at a separate LA property that he owns with Beck.
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.
He was detained for several hours and then released after posting a $50,000 bond.
The mansion, in an area called Holmby Hills, is down the street from the world-famous Playboy mansion, where Hugh Hefner died at age 91 in 2017.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z apparently live in a mansion less than a mile from the crime scene.
Federal authorities and local police showed up to the home in the dark of morning. Officials said they were responding to an anonymous tip.
“Lo and behold, they found over a thousand guns of all makes, models and calibers,” said Ramirez, who was at the scene Wednesday. “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.”