Kids Burglarize Home, Find 60-Gun Collection


The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that five kids (four boys and one girl) ages 11-14 who broke into a vacant Pennsylvania home got a little more than they planned on.  The house, Laurel Mountain Borough, contained a cache of firearms. The collection included over 60 guns, knives, swords, bayonets, and other weapons. Among the weapons were and AK-47 and a Thompson sub-machine gun. Police quickly tracked down the owner of the weapons, who happened to be a 93-year-old man named Phil Rose . . .

who’s currently hospitalized. “Everything was his,” Ligonier Borough Police Chief John Berger said. The police are currently busy checking the registration of each gun and so far, all of them belong to Rose.

The kids had broken into two other homes as well. They even took some of the weapons into the woods and fired off some rounds. As of now, the police are holding onto the elderly man’s arsenal and are awaiting news from his family as to whether or not charges will be pressed against the teenage burglars.

Rose is an avid firearms collector. Among some the guns confiscated by the police are six handguns, a flintlock muzzle-loader and several large animal teeth with ornate etchings. Rose’s collection also included a .50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol, a TEC-9 machine gun, an AK-47, the Tommy gun, some “assault rifles” and various handguns. Police said the weapons, which weren’t loaded, were found in several upstairs rooms and closets.



  1. avatar Paul53 says:

    Define “vacant house” please?

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      With that many guns, the dude needs a gun safe. I’ve got far fewer guns, but have a safe to keep punks from stealing them.
      Great collection sir!

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        I think I could open a lot of safes in 10-20 minutes with a good drill, torch, etc. They are definitely better than gun cabinets, but pretty much anything can be stolen.

        I’m have more confidence in my dogs and alarm system. Still, my stuff is spread out, and even transferred out of the state.

        1. avatar Pyrotek85 says:

          Yeah a safe will deter casual theft but they’re hardly impenetrable. Some models can be opened surprisingly easily, especially if they’ve got plenty of time to work.

        2. avatar JasonM says:

          I doubt a group of pubescent thieves would be able to get in.

        3. avatar Matthew Howe says:

          Gangbanger types will tell you they’re not safe crackers. If they can’t grab and go, they find something more portable. Neither are stupid kids getting up to no good.

        4. avatar AndyM says:

          I recently saw a video of a guy opening various pistol safes (without a key) in a few minutes each, including the one I just bought.

        5. avatar Don from CT says:

          Neither a safe nor an alarm is much good alone. But together they are a formidable defense.

          A safe requires time to get into. An alarm denies the burglar the time he needs.


        6. avatar BlueBronco says:

          Of course if you are 94 and in the hospital, that is going to complicate things.

        7. avatar Art out West says:

          Remember that this article is about some punk kids 11-14 years old. A safe probably would have prevented them from stealing the guns. Also many criminals operate by smash and grab, and get out of the house in a couple minutes. Safe’s help with them.

          Serious criminals with time, tools, skill, and determination, will easily defeat the average gun safe.

      2. avatar Gregory says:

        Exactly my thought. I have a large safe for my guns. For the cost of an expensive semi-auto rifle, you can get a good safe.

      3. avatar Skyler says:

        Yeah. Blame the victim.

        1. avatar TheBear says:

          A lot of that is going around.

        2. avatar Hannibal says:

          When someone kills me with a gun you were too lazy to lock up I can reserve at least some of my anger at you.

        3. avatar DanielB says:

          I don’t think one has emotions when they are dead. Anyway, that would be like blaming someone for leaving their car unlocked and a kid steals it and hits somebody.

        4. avatar Khan says:

          Several thousand dollar collection, cheap lock. It’s not victim blaming, but if no one calls this out as stupid, if not irresponsible, more dimwits will continue to have their machine gun collections separated from roaming thieves by nothing more than a cheap lock and if we don’t police our own, a big government goon is going to start legislating how our guns can be stored. So I will be critical of a person who keeps their machine guns in a closet or shoe boxes under the bed. If you can afford all those NFA and collector weapons you can afford a gun safe. Not getting one is purely irresponsible, just as slathering yourself in blood and bacon then hiking through bear country is irresponsible. End of discussion

      4. avatar Morgan Gatorsee says:

        I own several safes, keep them all unlocked. More for show as I am a dad and current politics. I put more faith in my alarm when I am not home

  2. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    ‘The police are currently busy checking the registration of each gun and so far, all of them belong to Rose.’

    Pennsylvania has firearms registration?

    1. avatar FortWorthColtGuy says:

      No, but some of the guns mentioned are NFA regulated weapons and thus are contacting the NFA Branch of the ATF to verify they are legal. I hope they are and he gets them back. I would hate to hear of any MGs getting removed from the transferable list.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        I’m guessing that since (all) the weapons were stolen the police have the right, if not duty, to trace the weapons to the dealers and check out the 4473s. Either Police Chief Berger was using the term ‘registration’ as shorthand for that or it’s a case of bad reporting. Although you’re right, any NFA items could be checked directly with the ATF.

        1. avatar blasko says:

          PA does not have a registry, but they do keep a record of handgun sales. All handgun sales are supposed to go thru their background checks even private sales.

          With that said, I always hear news reporters saying that ‘the police confirmed that the handgun was registered to the individual.’

        2. avatar Skeptical_Realist says:

          NO NO NO

          We know who stole them, and we know whom they were stolen from. There is no need to check 4473s, dealers, or anything else. If Police, ATF, etc. are checking any record of any kind, they are acting outside of public interest.

        3. avatar HB says:

          Bad reporting to be sure…perhaps even intentionally.

    2. avatar sagebrushracer says:

      Just a guess, but media type being under educated in all, I bet all the items are just self loading rifles, no actual automatics. “OOOOHHHH, OMG this guy has a ak!!!” every single time you see a $300 WASR 10 in the news.

    3. avatar clickboom says:

      Right? Poor old guy gets his prized collection stolen and the police are basically treating him like a suspect. Also, being that old, and seeing those c96 mausers, lugers, etc would suggest he likely has old rifles too, and there’s a slim chance those things would be registered if he acquired them as a younger man. So what now? Police keep his historically important items and melt them to scrap because they’re not registered? Or the police chief gets to take the unreg’d ones home “for disposal” ??

      Awfully awful to treat the hospitalized 94yo like that. Guy was probably a ww2 vet, given his age and collection. Those could be family heirloom war bring back guns and whatnot.

    4. avatar John Fritz - HMFIC says:

      …Pennsylvania has firearms registration?…

      Uh… yes?

      Everyone in PA knows the PSP have a gun registration database.

      They just don’t call it that. ’cause that would be illegal.

  3. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

    Are they raffling off chances at the whole collection, by any chance? I see five or six pistols I’d love to have in that photo…

    1. avatar notalima says:

      Raffling? If that is what you call “Police reported that numerous items from the collection mysteriously vanished while in police custody”, then yes 😉

      That is what we call it in Vegas when LVMPD confiscates a firearm. Police ‘raffle’.

  4. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Too bad that .50 Desert Eagle costs over $700. That’d be sweet.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Do I see a Walther P-38 there? I’d settle for that…

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        That might go over if it’s got all the right ‘Nazi’ markings.

      2. avatar Katy says:

        While we’re making claims, can I get that flintlock? I’ve been thinking about picking up one of those Traditions kits to assemble my own, but it sounds like this is an antique and not a newer build.

      3. avatar BlueBronco says:

        A couple to the left of it is a “Luger” partially cropped out of the pic.

        1. avatar JWM says:

          Looks like a broom handle mauser as well.

        2. avatar JWM says:

          and the hand looks like its covering a Colt Python. And the P38 near there looks like it has one of those co2 widgets at the grip.

        3. avatar JWM says:

          BB, upper left hand corner of picture. Above the drum mag and shotgun shell, near the pocket watch.

    2. avatar Anonymoose says:

      I’ve seen them go for around $700 used on gunbroker and gunsamerica before…

  5. avatar brian p says:

    Since when do people have full auto thompsons and tec9s or full auto “assault weapons”. Reporter is so stupid tech 9s were never pre 86

    1. avatar BlueBronco says:

      Since when? 1934 NFA requires a tax Stamp from ATF and they have to be prior to 1986 as per the Hughs Amendment of FOPA.

    2. avatar Bova says:

      TEC-9s were available in 1985.

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        IIRC, the Tec-9 was a re-name of the KG-99, which was a floating-firing-pin redesign of the earlier KG-9. The original KG-9 fired semi-automatically from an open-bolt with a fixed firing pin (bump on the breechface), and within a year or two of it being approved for sale by the ATF, several turned up (in Miami, IIRC) converted to full-auto.

        Turns out the ATF didn’t evaluate the KG-9 very well, as most semi-auto designs must be kinda-sorta certified (prior to sales being approved by the ATF) as “not easily convertible” to full auto. On the KG-9, all it took was a snip of heavy-duty shears on a single sheet-metal part to convert it to full-auto, and some FL drug dealers/runners had quickly figured it out.

        Shortly after that, the KG-9 handgun was re-designated by the ATF as easily convertible to full-auto, new sales were halted, and all future transfers of existing examples had to be done as machineguns. I had owned a KG-9 briefly in the early 80s, but blew it up (cracked the plastic lower) by firing non-approved ammo. Shortly after it was repaired and returned to me by the factory, I sold it at a loss to get rid of it. When the ATF reclassifed them, the price of a KG-9 on the used gun market increased 10x overnight. My timing never has been very good…

        If a reporter or someone who is familiar with a Tec-9 saw a KG-9 lying on a table, they wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. Quite possible that some were legally registered as full-autos.

    3. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Since when do people have full auto thompsons . One of my former neighbors had one. He was a Junior High School Principle.

  6. avatar marvin2584 says:

    They do not have gun registration in Pennsylvania as far as I know (I am a resident) unless you must register handguns. I cannot answer that as I don’t have one…..yet. I don’t believe you have to register them though. Just need concealed carry permit if you like.

  7. avatar philthegardner says:

    That chopped Thompson makes me want to cry. Sacrilege!

  8. avatar marvin2584 says:

    Just a link to confirm my earlier comment….our gun laws arent too bad

    1. avatar Daily Beatings says:

      In fact Pennsylvania has the second highest number of concealed carry permits. Florida is number one.

      1. avatar BlueBronco says:

        Florida has about 1.3 million active ccw licenses and they are for more than just firearms.

        1. avatar James Stewart says:

          In Kentucky our CCDW permit includes WMDs, might have a problem federally though…

    2. avatar Matthew Howe says:

      I live in suburban New York. To get my restricted permit (which means I can bring a gun to and from a place to shoot, but not otherwise carry it) took 18 months and cost 400 bucks. To get a CCW permit in PA, including snail mail both directions, took five days and cost 26 bucks.

      1. avatar WarsawPactHeat says:

        “Restricted” permit. That’s just all sorts of fail in the eyes of the 2nd Amendment. My sympathies.

      2. avatar marvin2584 says:

        Any time you wanna get away from those ridiculous laws in New York, you’re welcome to come to central PA Matthew. Where I’m from, I’m pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of people that DON’T own a firearm and there’s a large number that have concealed carry as well.

      3. avatar Aaron says:


  9. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Grampa needs to lock up his stash better. Hope it’s not an Alzeimers thing…

  10. avatar Gatha58 says:

    As old as the owner is I doubt he can even fire most of these anymore. Probably needs to sell most of them.

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      Have you ever heard of inheritance?

  11. “The police are currently busy checking the registration of each gun” and I am sure the ATF just want to be sure they can (oops can’t) through the 94 year old man in prison for life.

  12. avatar Amc says:


    1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      Nope you’re 999998,,,he he

      1. avatar No_Smoking says:

        I win!

  13. avatar Racast says:

    Is that a mauser broomhandle I see in the upper left?

  14. avatar Tom from Pennsyltucky says:

    My only concern with this is that the police are checking the registration and everything on guns owned by somebody that did nothing wrong. Kids should get punished for their idiocy, and I am pretty sure I am saying what a lot of others are thinking when I say that some of these firearms were likely no paper transfers, straw sales, FTF sales, and other methods that the police won’t be able to find a record of. I feel bad for the hospitalized man that owns these as if/when he gets home, he likely won’t be receiving a portion of his firearms back….ever.

    So frustrating

    1. avatar BlueBronco says:

      This is an excerpt from the article linked at the news site.

      “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.”

      Read more:

    2. avatar Yogi B says:

      If any of the guns are NFA guns it makes sense they would check them

  15. avatar tom w a glock says:

    Looking at the photo – if that were my collection I’d be UPSET! It looks like they just piled them on the table willy-nilly. God forbid they care for someone else’s property!

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      That was my first thought, too. “Hey, let’s take this man’s valuable collection that he likely spent years acquiring and just dump it in a pile on a table for a photo op for the press!” Asswipes.

  16. avatar Matthew Howe says:

    Chances of that guy getting them back?

  17. avatar Nick says:

    Bald-faced run at $700.

  18. avatar CK in CA says:

    I’m surprised that the original article didn’t have the word “arsenal” anywhere in it.

  19. avatar No_Smoking says:

    Here in Oregon, they are trying to pass a law that would make Rose the criminal for those kids robbing him. It will more than likely pass… yay for making the victim the criminal

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      I think returning to Oregon after retirement will not be happening for me. It just seems like it could go from fairly gun friendly to a totalitarian state at any time.

      1. avatar No_Smoking says:

        Yeah, SB941 is likely to pass (the background check bill) and I think there are a few more bills in line.

      2. avatar clickboom says:

        Those wonderful California retired hippies moving there….

  20. avatar FedUp says:

    Doncha just love it when they name the victim, tell everybody he’s stuck in the hospital with his home unattended, but don’t name the criminals?

  21. avatar greenmeanie says:

    60 guns? I’d call that a good start!

  22. avatar Ralph says:

    Wow. The last time I burglarized an old man’s home, I found 60 boxes of Depends. And a hungry cat.

    1. avatar BlueBronco says:


    2. avatar Avid Reader says:

      Sure you didn’t just forget your keys?


  23. avatar Frank says:

    Will there be any problems transferring the guns to his heirs?

  24. avatar Tom says:

    Another unconstitutional seizure by police. They are treating the victim like the criminal, not the teen burglars.

    1. avatar No_Smoking says:

      Well they have to make sure this 93 year old man isn’t a career criminal after all. Since he can still sent out hits from his hospital bed and all.

  25. avatar Bruce says:

    So basically a cop could pay a punk to commit a “Robbery” and the kid finds guns and now the cops can do whatever they want to the victims private property?

  26. avatar Grindstone says:

    Is he looking to adopt?

    … Marry, even?

    1. avatar JWM says:

      Dude! Wedding night with a 93 yo man? Brain bleach, stat!

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        Just Anna Nicole Smith it, you know ain’t nothing working downstairs.

  27. avatar Chadwick P. says:

    So this poor guy has had his collection stolen twice by different thugs? Sad day. “Hey we found your stolen property but we are going to keep it until we violate the rights secured by our glorious 4th amendment enough to make sure you aren’t both a bad guy and a victim. Sorry run-on sentence rant over.

  28. avatar Charlie says:

    I see several nice toys in the photo.

    Here’s the thousand dollar question: What will you do to prevent your firearms collection from falling into the wrong hands if/when you become too senile to know which side your bread is buttered on?

    This sort of thing happens, and if no responsible next of kin (heir) exists you will need to make other plans.

    Be Prepared! (Troop 25, Shreveport)

  29. avatar Raven says:

    Eh, anyone want to bet about how much drool the BATFE agents are drooling over the possibility those title II weapons might be unregistered?

    I’d guess there’s an Olympic sized swimming pool that doesn’t need filling anymore.

  30. avatar outwardhound says:

    “The kids had broken into two other homes as well…”
    “…..As of now, the police are holding onto the elderly man’s arsenal and are awaiting news from his family as to weather or not charges will be pressed against the teenage burglars.”

    Why is there ANY hesitation about charging these thieving little punks?

    1. avatar Frank says:


    2. avatar pwrserge says:

      Given that there are some NFA items on that list, throw the federal book at them. Unlicensed possession of a machine-gun is a good start. They might get out in time to apply for social security.

    3. avatar Raven says:

      “Thieving little punks.”

      No, you’ve got that aaaaall wrong. They were just getting ready to make something of themselves & turn their lives around! /sarc

      Right after they found someone to steal the money from, or a fence to unload the weapons to. Actually, forget the locals. Why aren’t the Feds crawling up in their posteriors and making a home? That would be a better question.

  31. avatar UncleMike says:

    Yes, Pennsylvania has gun registration. PA LEOs can access your inventory where background checks were performed with a couple of key strokes.

    (PA Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League site)


  32. avatar 5Spot says:

    That is a quality collection. Too bad I see the po po hanging on to them.

  33. avatar Will says:

    1 million? just for kicks

  34. avatar Bob in Washington says:

    Does that qualify as an arsenal?

    1. avatar Anonymoose says:

      Still lacking, if you ask me. 🙂

    2. avatar David says:

      Or maybe a “cache…”

  35. avatar Aaron says:

    kids broke into multiple homes. huh.

    we need to institute caning. cheaper than jail, and lower recidivism rate.

  36. avatar Gary says:

    Funny, “registration” is illegal in PA…. Oh, unless you mean that loophole the state uses to record background check info!!! Yeah, that must be it!!!

  37. avatar younggun21 says:

    What does “vacant mean in this context

  38. avatar Tom from Pennsyltucky says:

    1Mil? HNG

  39. avatar Rick Eyerly says:

    If Mr. Rose needs to find a good home for any of these poor, displaced firearms, I’d be happy to help.

  40. avatar SteveX says:

    Depending on how aggressive the kids may have been toward the 94 year old if he were home and with that kind of firepower… I’d say the kids may be lucky he wasn’t there…

  41. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    That’s a lot of sweet firearms and we haven’t seen what’s on his list to Santa this year.

  42. avatar Phil in LA says:

    I’m jealy.

  43. avatar Roland says:

    I imagine a pile of firearms on the floor. Nothing else in the house, not even carpet to protect the floor.

    The news needs to be more specific sometimes.

  44. avatar emfourty gasmask says:

    One day I’ll have that many guns lol

  45. avatar Dave says:

    He did nothing and his firearms were confiscated and publicly shown. Doesn’t seem right to me. Arsenal? How about collection.

  46. avatar Nine says:

    Kiiiinda wish I’d been one of those kids.

    Kidding of course.


  47. avatar KC says:

    Perfect person to have a gun trust, even if it goes to a museum. Especially if he keeps getting hospitalized…

    1. avatar Skyler says:

      It’s dismaying the number of people here who think they know what this man needs to do with his property. Being 93 doesn’t mean he is dead. He owns those weapons, they belong to him. What he does with them, and why he keeps them is none of anyone’s business. If he just likes to look at them, or just know that he owns them, that is sufficient to own them.

      If he were feeble minded, he still has a right to own his weapons. They are his, not yours, and you should keep your covetousness to yourself.

  48. avatar Sergio says:

    Kinda bothers me that the article focuses on Rose’s lawfully owned property and the police investigation as to whether or not the guns were his, while he was a victim of burglary by a bunch of “youths.” The poor man was burglarized, it’s no one’s business what he owns.

  49. avatar Jjmmyjonga says:

    Boy, would be nice if they just returned HIS stolen property to him/his family…

  50. avatar Donald Rowe says:

    Wow that’s a nice arsenal he’s got. Hopefully there’s someone in the family that likes collecting as much as him.

  51. avatar LCB says:

    There are Tommy guns and Tommy guns. I’d bet this one was semi-auto.

  52. avatar Fuque says:

    Im sure the ATF will take those guns to the nearest gun buyback program and present the old guy with a check for $500.00.. Poor old guy, he can prop it up next to the flowers in his hospital room.

  53. avatar Henry Kadoch says:

    His family should step in and secure that collection. I’m sure he has worked hard over the years to build it.

  54. avatar Ditto says:

    1. Why is this collection of firearms referred to as a “cache?” It’s not a cache, it’s a collection.
    2. How did police “check the registration” of the guns to determine the man owned them all? As far as I know, none of my firearms are “registered.”

  55. avatar Alan W. Rose says:

    Meanwhile over at WTAE (Moms Demand) Action News 4, their version of events:

    This is the new American narrative a la Orwell. Twist the facts into an unrecognizeable mess to create a false narrative.

    New outlet’s version of events:

    1. Kids ‘find’ guns in ‘abandoned’ house. (Oh the horror!)
    2. Kids shoot and play with guns. (Oh the horror!)

    Police input:

    1. Why is there an arsenal of guns and ammo? (Um, America!)
    2. Guns seized by police. (Implies a crime committed by the owner.)
    3. Police are ‘glad’ the guns were found. (WTH?)

    Imbedded in the story, the truth emerges:

    1. Homeowner is hospitalized, the home is not abandoned.
    2. The kids were burglarizing the home and stealing guns.
    3. Guns being safeguarded by police.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      apparently “abandoned” means “owners not home”, and “found” means stolen, and “unsecured” means inside a locked house.

  56. avatar Model66 says:

    Though this is a Pittsburgh story, from a Pittsburgh news site, it took place about an hour east of Pgh in a rural area. the house that was on the news looked to be very worn down, abandoned, and in the middle of the woods. the report made it seem that the owner was not in trouble from the incident.

  57. avatar JetJockChunk says:

    Friggin kids! When are these kids going to learn respect for other people’s property?! Poor old man, his valuable collection being pilfered while he is sick and in the hospital. I hope his NFA stuff is in a trust so his kids can easily handle it.

  58. avatar ghost says:

    The parents of the little darlings will probably wind up suing the old man for traumatizing their kids, imagine the damage caused to them, breaking in and finding all those deadly weapons. May sue the cops too, for arresting the kids.

  59. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    This kinda sucks that the police are going through his collection…to be safe. Im sure they will all be returned in perfect condition.. /sarcasm

    1. avatar Michelle says:

      I’m guessing that chances are, they won’t be returned at all. Since they were “involved in a crime”, (yes, even if the crime was them being stolen), they’ll likely be seized and forfeit.

  60. avatar Red in Texas says:

    A very nice collection, too bad it is now “evidence”.

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