Deceased ‘hoarder’ had ‘military’ grade weapons in High Point home

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HIGH POINT,  N.C. -- High Point police are trying to figure out how one High Point man somehow owned high-powered explosives and weapons including grenades, anti-tank rockets and rifles.

Police discovered the weapons inside a home on the 600 block of Westchester Drive on Sunday. Police may never have found out they existed, except the resident's neighbor called police upon finding the neighbor dead inside.

Police determined the 62-year-old man died from natural causes, but while inside, they noticed the weapons.

Capt. Mike Kirk with the High Point Police Department said they immediately called the bomb squad to come investigate and clear the area of all devices.

"It's unusual to find this type of weapons all in one place with one person," he said. "It's certainly enough to raise our concerns. It's certainly enough to be a danger. Right now we have got to get to the bottom of where he got these from."

Capt. Kirk explained that sometimes, it is hard to tell if grenades and other explosives are real or imitation. He confirmed that at least some of the explosives were genuine, but they are not sure if all of them are.

Capt. Kirk said the devices were so advanced and powerful that even the High Point Police Department would not carry weapons of that nature.

"You can't buy explosive devices like this at all," he said. "This has to be completely bought by someone who has smuggled it out of the military or someone from that arena."

Tommy Sears lives across the street from the Westchester Drive home. He said he was friends with the man who lived inside, but never knew he owned so many explosives.

"I've known him for 20 years," he said. "It surprised me to find out he had that kind of arsenal in there. That's some pretty heavy stuff. It's kind of scary for him to have that much ammunition over there. He could've blown up half the block."

Sears described the man as a "hermit" and a "hoarder" who kept to himself.

"He stayed to himself," he said. "But if you talked to him he was real nice in personality. It's hard to believe."

Sears said he's not sure why the man would have the weapons in his home, but said he was paranoid and sometimes made comments about being afraid of the government.

"He wouldn't have done anything to hurt people around here," he said. "He was just worried about the end of the world, I guess."

Police have not released the name of the deceased man. Capt. Kirk said they have not been able to locate any next of kin.

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