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Cambria County owner who had weapons in vacant home found

| Thursday, April 30, 2015, 11:48 p.m.

An investigation to find the owner of dozens of guns, knives and other weapons left in a dilapidated house in Laurel Mountain Borough led police to a hospital room.

Ligonier Borough Police Chief John Berger said authorities learned through tax records that Phil Rose, 93, of Cambria County owns a vacant Walnut Road home where the guns and knives were found Tuesday evening.

Rose, who lives near Johnstown but is hospitalized, is a collector, Berger said.

“Everything was his,” the chief said.

Police have spoken to Rose's family, Berger said.

Police are still checking the registration of each gun, he said. Those checked so far are registered to Rose.

Officers discovered about 60 guns, as well as knives, bayonets and swords, after a neighbor of the vacant house reported a break-in around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Officers found three juveniles leaving the house when they arrived and two others on the road nearby. Police said the four males and a girl, ages 11 to 14, had broken into the house and took some weapons and other items.

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

Berger said the youths had taken three of the handguns to a spot in the woods to shoot them, loading them with ammunition they found in the home.

The collection in the home included a .50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol, a TEC-9 machine gun, an AK-47, a Thompson “Tommy gun,” assault rifles and handguns. Police said the weapons, which were not loaded, were found in several upstairs rooms and closets.

For now, the cache of weapons will be kept at the police station until Rose's family decides what it wants to do with them, Berger said.

The five juveniles allegedly trespassed at two other abandoned homes along the dead-end road.

Berger said they will be charged, but he isn't certain of the charges. He said he will ask Rose's family if it wants to press charges.

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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