Ramsey County, Minnesota, authorities unexpectedly discovered a trove of 11 firearms, some of which had been converted into automatic weapons, while busting a 17-year-old credit card thief during a wild birthday celebration at an Airbnb property.
The bizarre incident has left local law enforcement baffled as they investigate the origins of the concealed firearms.
The chain of events began when a local resident reported his credit cards stolen after observing an individual breaking into his work truck in Shoreview and stealing his wallet on October 27. Within an hour, he received notifications of unauthorized charges on his stolen credit cards, all of which had occurred at a nearby Target store. The victim had lost $577 from his bank card, and an additional $275 in transactions were attempted on other cards within the stolen wallet.
The investigation took a turn when surveillance footage linked the credit card theft to another case involving stolen credit cards in Lino Lakes.
Local law enforcement disseminated photos from the surveillance footage, leading members of the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office’s Carjacking and Auto Theft Team to recognize the suspect pictured.
The suspect’s trail eventually led authorities to a “booze-filled” birthday party at an Airbnb property on 108th Avenue in Maple Grove. The Airbnb owner was promptly contacted and informed of the situation, which led to the shutdown of the festivities.
According to law enforcement, there were around 50 people at the property between the ages of 15 and 21. As such, the rental agreement’s 10-person limit had been exceeded, and the tenants had violated rules against weapons and smoking as well. Attendees were not only found to be in violation of these rules, but they had also posted images of the party on social media.
Upon eviction of the attendees, law enforcement apprehended the suspected credit card thief, and an extensive search of the house commenced. What they uncovered was described by Ramsey County Undersheriff Mike Martin as an “Airbnb turned Machinegunbnb.”
The cache of concealed weapons was found in various locations throughout the property, including purses, backpacks and even board game boxes. One gun was discovered hidden inside a “Heads Up!” game, while another was concealed within an empty McDonald’s bag on the kitchen counter. Several guns were also found concealed in unfinished walls, among plants, behind TVs and beneath furniture.
What made the discovery even more concerning was that some of the firearms had been modified with extended magazines and “switches,” commonly known as “auto sears,” effectively converting them into machine guns capable of discharging 33 rounds of automatic fire in less than two seconds.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher expressed his astonishment at the number of firearms uncovered, stating that authorities “always expect a couple, but we were shocked by the number.”
The weapons stockpile was extra concerning due to the fact that several of the party attendees are believed to be affiliated with a group that has enemies, referred to as “opps,” increasing the likelihood that the gathering could have erupted into violence.
The possession of automatic weapons carries significant legal consequences, with state and federal laws providing for 5- to 10-year sentences. It remains unclear whether the underage individuals involved will be tried as adults, and their current custody status is also undetermined.
The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office has also announced that the seized weapons will be subject to testing, and the resulting data will be entered into the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to determine if they have been used in unsolved crimes. Additionally, fingerprint and DNA analysis will be conducted to further aid the investigation.
The alleged credit card thief “went from five-star Airbnb accommodations to the county jail,” the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office noted on Facebook.
Martin added that he was happy to have participated in the suspect’s birthday celebration.
“The best part is we got 11 guns off the street that won’t shoot somebody, kill somebody you know, or be used for robbery or anything else,” he told Fox News.