Police: Theft investigation leads to discovery of guns, grenades - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Theft investigation leads to discovery of guns, grenades, pipe bomb in Gresham

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Evidence photo: Gresham Police Department Evidence photo: Gresham Police Department
Christopher Norwood Young, jail booking photo Christopher Norwood Young, jail booking photo
Fabian Peniche (Photo released by Gresham PD) Fabian Peniche (Photo released by Gresham PD)

An investigation into stolen equipment from construction sites led to the discovery of an arsenal of weapons at a Gresham home, including a pipe bomb, a live grenade, seven rifles and two homemade silencers, according to police.

Detectives began investigating a large-scale theft ring targeting construction equipment in May. Police said Christopher Norwood Young, 27, of Gresham, took photos of machinery at work sites and posted them on Craigslist claiming to be a legitimate seller.

Investigators said he would meet with potential buyers at the construction sites on weekends when no workers were present. After reaching a sale agreement, according to detectives, he would set up a delivery date that would allow him enough time to steal and transport the equipment to another location.

Police said three stolen tractors were sold to unsuspecting buyers for $9,000 to $30,000.

Officers first served a warrant at Young's home on the 16600 block of Northeast Wasco Street in June looking for evidence of heavy equipment thefts. What they found, according to police, was two training grenades, one live grenade and evidence that Young was in possession of numerous firearms, including an AR-15 that he had been shooting both in his backyard and inside his home into a 50 gallon barrel.

Investigators said Young used homemade suppressors to muffle the sounds of the gunfire. 

A neighbor of Young's said he is surprised at what happened.

"We were woken up at 2:30 in the morning with a flash bang and a boom, and a bull horn from the police," said neighbor Tony Young. "We were really surprised last night, absolutely. We've known him. Never suspected anything and all of a sudden a month or so ago they served a search warrant in the middle of the day, it was kind of the first time anybody in the neighborhood really thought anything was going on."

Police said evidence was also found revealing Young had conversations with someone about carrying out a school shooting. The statements were vague, according to investigators, with no direct threats to any specific school.

Gresham police, along with Portland police, multiple SWAT teams and members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives served another warrant at the home at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Young was taken into custody.

Detectives said the search uncovered nine handguns, seven rifles – including an AR-15 and an AK-47 – and thousands of rounds of ammunition, as well as two homemade suppressors, a pipe bomb and the components to construct other destructive devices.

Young was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Jail on numerous charges including possession of a machine gun, possession of a destructive device, manufacturing a destructive device, possession of a silencer, aggravated theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and identity theft.

Police are attempting to locate a second suspect, Fabian Peniche, in connection with this investigation. Anyone with information about Peniche's location or additional information about Young is asked to contact the Gresham Police Department tip line at 503-618-2719.  

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