Brookline Police say they seized this cache of weapons from a residence near Coolidge Corner Monday evening. Photo provided by Brookline Police.
Police officers checking on the well being of a Brookline man who no one had spoken to for a month led to the discovery of a cache of 36 firearms, including 14 high-powered rifles and 1,200 rounds of armor-piercing bullets in his residence near Coolidge Corner Monday.
Brookline Police also found several silencers, thousands more rounds of ammunition at 181 Harvard St., and arrested resident Richard Becker, 55, who is expected to appear in Brookline District Court Wednesday on multiple charges stemming from alleged firearms violations.
Brookline Police Chief Daniel O’Leary said Tuesday that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has also been called in to help investigate where Becker obtained many of the weapons.
“All these weapons, 36 weapons, some of them high-powered rifles, one of them had a clip with 100 rounds in it, there is no need for that stuff in Brookline,” O’Leary said. “There’s no need for that stuff in the greater Boston area. Imagine if someone broke into the back of that house when nobody was in there and found the stuff.”
Becker, who fell ill when police took him into custody Monday, was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he was being held under the guard of police Tuesday, the chief said. He would not speak to police, said O'Leary, who added that at no time did police receive information that Becker had ever uttered any threats.
Initially Brookline Police had responded to Becker’s home on Harvard Street Friday after multiple town agencies, including the Department of Public Health, reported a concern for the well being of Becker and his 87-year-old father. O’Leary said no one had talked to the men in a month, there were mounting overdue taxes on the property and there were unconfirmed reports that the utilities to the building had been shut off.
When police first went to the home last Friday, no one answered the door. Then when the fire department was called in to attempt to open a window at the home, O’Leary said a man came to the front glass door, but refused to open it and then ran away from view.
When police investigated further they located Becker’s father at an assisted living home. But police also discovered Richard Becker had owned 18 guns in the late 1990s his firearm identification card had expired in 1998, and there was no record that he had gotten rid of the weapons. Police also discovered two warrants for Becker’s arrest for failure to report to Norfolk County jury duty in Quincy.
O’Leary said police then obtained a search warrant for Becker’s home, but waited for him to come out Monday because of concern about what might happen if police attempted to enter his home and Becker tried to defend himself.
Around 5 p.m. Monday, Becker came out the back door, and he was arrested, police said. He immediately fell to the ground and said he needed to go to the hospital. Police would not release Becker’s illness, but said he was expected to remain in the hospital overnight Tuesday.
He will be arraigned on multiple charges Wednesday, including unlawful possession of firearms without a valid license, O’Leary said.