San Francisco police find giant firearms cache at robbery suspect's home

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco police Wednesday made one of the biggest firearms seizures in recent memory, according to the city's police chief.

Officers raided a home in South San Francisco and recovered not only weapons, but explosives, and arrested two brazen robbers as well.

"This is as large a seizure that I can remember going back to 2009," said San Francisco police chief Greg Suhr.

Police recovered 38 firearms, among them 22 assault rifles and 12 handguns, a cache of explosives, including pipe bombs, a bomb making kit, a grenade and 5,000 rounds of ammunition.

The firearms were found at a South San Francisco home occupied by Austen Chin, who was arrested last week. Also captured was Homer Matthews.

Neighbor John Duran saw it all go down.

"All I heard was a big boom and then they come in, they rush in," Duran said. "I think there was like 10 guys out there with guns wearing black armored suits."

Police called this case the Letterman Robberies because one of the perpetrators wore a letterman's varsity jacket, Suhr said.

Their robbery spree started in late April at a gas station in the Bayview District, then a Walgreens in the Marina. It ended about a month later with a brazen robbery at a grocery store.

"Two of the employees were taken from the street and moved into the store, constituting a kidnapping for a purpose of a robbery," said San Francisco police Lt. William Braconi.

Police believe the two were selling the weapons on the street. Many, they say are the same type that are being used in shootings in the Bayview. They're trying to trace the firearms, but so far, they haven't found any that have been registered.
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