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Weapons stash found in abandoned Laurel Mountain Borough home

| Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 11:27 p.m.
Ligonier Borough Police Chief John Berger looks toward a portion of at least 60 confiscated guns on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in his office at the station. Police confiscated guns, knives, swords, and etched animal bones from juveniles last night at an abandoned house on Walnut Road in Laurel Mountain Borough.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
Ligonier Borough Police Chief John Berger looks toward a portion of at least 60 confiscated guns on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in his office at the station. Police confiscated guns, knives, swords, and etched animal bones from juveniles last night at an abandoned house on Walnut Road in Laurel Mountain Borough.
Ligonier Borough Police Chief John Berger touches a portion of more than 60 confiscated guns on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in his office. Police confiscated guns, knives, swords, and etched animal bones from juveniles last night at an abandoned house on Walnut Road in Laurel Mountain Borough.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
Ligonier Borough Police Chief John Berger touches a portion of more than 60 confiscated guns on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in his office. Police confiscated guns, knives, swords, and etched animal bones from juveniles last night at an abandoned house on Walnut Road in Laurel Mountain Borough.
Etched animal bones rest on a table as Ligonier Borough Police handle at least 60 confiscated guns on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in the station. Police confiscated guns, knives, swords, and etched animal bones from juveniles last night at an abandoned house on Walnut Road in Laurel Mountain Borough.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
Etched animal bones rest on a table as Ligonier Borough Police handle at least 60 confiscated guns on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in the station. Police confiscated guns, knives, swords, and etched animal bones from juveniles last night at an abandoned house on Walnut Road in Laurel Mountain Borough.

A report of a break-in led police to a stash of at least 60 guns; assorted knives, bayonets and swords; and engraved animal teeth in an abandoned Laurel Mountain Borough home.

Who owns the weapons and why they were left in the dilapidated house on Walnut Road is a mystery that will take some time to unravel, Ligonier Borough Police Chief John Berger said Wednesday.

Police are working to determine whether each of the dozens of guns is registered.

“There's a lot of work to do with this,” Berger said.

The stash included a .50-caliber Desert Eagle, TEC-9 machine gun, an AK-47, Thompson “Tommy gun” assault rifles and handguns.

Officer Barbara Howard said the guns, which weren't loaded, were found in several upstairs rooms and closets.

“They weren't in any kind of secure, safe room,” she said.

Officers found three juveniles leaving the house around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday because a neighbor called to say he heard things being smashed inside.

The juveniles, along with two others who were found farther down the road, had broken into the house and took some weapons and other items, police said.

Four males and a girl, ages 11 to 14, were involved, Howard said.

Among the items police confiscated from the youths were six handguns, a flintlock muzzle-loader and several large animal teeth with ornate etchings.

Berger said the juveniles had taken three of the handguns to a spot in the woods to shoot them.

“We were very fortunate these young gentlemen didn't get hurt because they were playing with the guns,” Berger said.

The two-story house was so dilapidated that officers had to use a ladder to access it because it wasn't safe to walk inside, Berger said.

The juveniles also allegedly trespassed at two other abandoned homes along the dead-end road. Berger compared the condition of the homes to those on the television show, “Hoarders.”

Howard said police didn't confiscate anything from those homes.

Police haven't yet determined who owns any of the houses. Berger will contact the power company for information because the house with the gun stash still has electrical service, he said.

Berger said he will determine whether the five trespassers will be charged in juvenile court. He said the juveniles, who live in the area, were cooperative with officers.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or nchynoweth@tribweb.com.

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