PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Some Phoenix homeowners digging a hole for a small tree in their backyard found more than they bargained for: they dug up a duffel bag full of guns!

It happened Sunday evening at a home near 83rd Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road. 

The homeowners were digging the hole in the corner of their fenced backyard when their shovels hit something in the dirt. Phoenix police say it was a duffel bag filled with rusted rifles and handguns.

Duffle bag of rifles and handguns

Once the homeowners realized what they found, they called police and handed over the weapons.

"We're very thankful for the family who called this in, to make sure that if they are connected later to something, obviously related to a crime that we have justice for that family as well," says Sgt. Mercedes Fortune with the Phoenix Police Department.

The family who owns the home has lived there for four years. Prior to that, neighbors say renters came and went. Neighbors also say the home was abandoned for about a year with frequent break-ins.

"There was a lot of vandalism. They had broken walls and graffiti. I think one time they even had like a little party and I think the cops have come to shut it down," says neighbor Yajaira Enriquez.

Phoenix police have no record of the party, but they were called to the home on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Because of the firearms' condition, it will take a while to recover the serial numbers to determine if they are linked to anyone, the caliber of the guns or if they are loaded.

Right now, the firearms are in evidence with the Phoenix Police Department.


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