Police searching for a suspicious person in the Freret neighborhood found a loaded assault rifle hidden under a Willow Street home, authorities said.
Officers Kevin Wheeler and Juan Vara were patrolling the 5000 block of Willow shortly after midnight Jan. 24 when they saw a man walking down the middle of the street, apparently peering into cars that he passed, according to the police report. When the man noticed the officers watching, he gathered his waistband as if to run, then quickly turned toward an elevated home in the block and out of the officers’ sight, the report states.
Officers searched for the man, but could not locate him, the report states. While they were looking, they found an Romarms AK-47 assault rifle with a loaded 15-round magazine and one round in the chamber, concealed between a door panel and a concrete pylon supporting the house, the report states. Next to the gun was a bag with 43 .223-caliber rounds as well.
The rifle was determined to have been stolen in August, the report states. The officers tried to contact residents of the home, but no one answered their knocks, even though loud music could be heard from inside one side, the report states.
The guns and ammunition were logged as evidence and will be tested for fingerprints, the report states.
The AK-47 was originally developed for the Soviet infantry after World War II, and distributed to their allies during the Cold War. The weapon is now commonly used by the Taliban in Afghanistan.