A scouting trip for striped bass turned into a police investigation earlier this week when a fisherman found a cache of guns along the shore of Jamaica Bay in Queens, New York. The 44-year-old angler, who declined to reveal his identity, was trudging through the mud during low tide on Wednesday evening when he spotted something unusual in the shallows.
Yesterday, @NYPD101Pct officers were alerted to multiple firearms submerged in Jamaica Bay by a concerned NYer. Equipped with scuba gear, our elite @NYPDSpecialops Emergency Service Unit Detectives dove into the waters & retrieved this cache of weapons. pic.twitter.com/ceYRuyT8ei
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 23, 2023
“I saw a big metal box…and I saw some garbage bags,” the angler told NBC-4 News.
Upon closer inspection, the lone fisherman noticed the barrel of a long gun sticking out of one of the plastic garbage bags. Scared and unsure of what to do next, he left them in the water and went straight home. After a sleepless night, he called the New York Police Department the next morning on March 23.
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That afternoon, scuba divers with the NYPD Emergency Service Unit arrived at the location near Beach 38th Street and Norton Drive in Edgemere. Divers reportedly recovered three AR-style rifles and 14 handguns. All the firearms were in relatively good condition, and the pistols were still in their holsters.
Police launched an investigation that has already given some insight into the origin of the guns. The serial numbers on one of the rifles were traced to a home in Putnam County in upstate New York, where three rifles had reportedly been stolen by burglars, according to ABC-7 News. Detectives learned that 14 handguns were also reported stolen in that burglary.
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Divers will continue to scour Jamaica Bay for more firearms while further testing is done on the recovered guns. No arrests have been made at this point, according to NYPD Detective Robert Boyce, who added that many of the guns looked like collectors items.
“I think just by the condition they’re in and where we found them with all their holsters, it is a serious collector of hanguns,” Boyce told reporters. “We take guns out of the water all the time. But this large a recovery is quite unusual. I don’t remember seeing anything like this in my time.”
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