With the Los Angeles Police Department planning to destroy 6.5 tons of ammo recovered, gun dealers are scrambling to save the more than 1,500 guns collected from a deceased California man.
Jeffrey Alan Lash, 60, died July 4 and told his fiancee a confusing tale of espionage that prompted her to leave his body inside one of his vehicles while she went out of town with friends. When she returned on July 17, he was still inside the SUV.
This prompted a call to authorities from her attorney, Harland Braun, which in turn led to a massive effort by police to impound Lash’s personal collection of firearms – first estimated at 500 and then 1,200 – for safekeeping.
Now, as police have determined they have more than 1,500 guns and nearly seven tons of munitions on hand, Braun is fielding unsolicited calls from gun dealers looking to move in on the Pacific Palisades man’s estate, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Braun cautions the guns aren’t going anywhere soon, as the LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division is busy tracing the collection, worth as much as $1 million and including several high-end rifles and pistols, most still new.
As for the ammunition, Braun said police are likely to destroy it.
However, there may be even more firearms out there as Braun has his private investigator combing the area to locate storage lockers believed rented by Lash.
A mystery to even those closest to him, Lash told neighbors his name was Bob Smith and his fiancee and girlfriend of 17 years that he was a spy for the CIA and even a part-human, part-alien creature sent to earth to save humanity. Besides the guns and ammunition, police discovered $230,000 in cash as well as 14 cars left behind.
“It’s worse than a ‘Twilight Zone’ movie, and we’ve lived through hell,” said Laura VadBunker, an employee of Lash’s fiancee who was with Lash when he died in a Bristol Farms parking lot in Santa Monica.
No one close to Lash could verify the source of his income other than his tales and the only photo in circulation is a copy of a driver’s license issued in 1996 distributed by his attorney Robert Rentzer, who represented him off and on for two decades.
Rentzer characterized the late gun collector as a private man, but dispelled reports that he was an alien hybrid or secret agent.
“A lot of people would call him odd because of his overwhelming desire for privacy,” Rentzer told KTLA. “Some people considered him a little weird.”
Further, his attorney said Lash was fastidious about his gun collection and, despite the quantities of ammunition that was on hand at his condo, rarely went shooting.
“I do not know that he ever, ever, ever fired any of his guns. Never,” Rentzer said. “He took pride in how they were maintained.”
While police do not suspect foul play in Lash’s demise, the final cause of death has not been determined.