More than 1,000 weapons seized in ritzy Los Angeles neighborhood

The guns were discovered in Holmby Hills, where homes average more than $17 million. A suspect was in custody and could face felony weapons charges.
Law enforcement find a cache of weapons in a Holmy Hills home on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.
Authorities display an enormous cache of weapons seized at a home in the expensive Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles on Wednesday.NBC Los Angeles

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By Alex Johnson and Andrew Blankstein

LOS ANGELES — A suspect was in custody Wednesday night after federal and local agents seized more than 1,000 weapons at a home in one of the richest neighborhoods in the country, authorities said.

The man, whom Los Angeles police later identified as Girard Damien Saenz, 57, was held on suspicion of unlawful transportation and giving, lending or selling an assault weapon, said Lt. Chris Ramirez, a police spokesman. Saenz was released on $50,000 bond on Thursday.

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Police and agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discovered the rifles and pistols while serving a search warrant at the residence in the Holmby Hills area of west Los Angeles.

The weapons were taken from the home near the famous intersection of Beverly and Sunset boulevards in a joint ATF-police investigation. Real estate listings offered homes for sale at an average price of more than $17 million this week in the neighborhood, which is part of Los Angeles' Platinum Triangle.

"We recovered over a thousand weapons of various makes, models and calibers — rifles, shotguns, pistols," Ramirez said, describing the array as "basically a stash or pile."

"It's just beyond comprehension that somebody can have so many weapons in a residence like this in a neighborhood like this," Ramirez said.

Many famous performers and artists have made Holmby Hills their home, among them Michael Jackson, Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper, Walt Disney and the power couple of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

It's not the first time a veritable armory has been found at a tony home in westside Los Angeles. Four years ago, authorities discovered a private collection of tons of ammunition and a cache of guns at a condominium unit in the Pacific Palisades area.

Authorities valued that private collection at a $500,000 to $1 million.