Pasadena Man Held as Police Report Finding Arsenal


Police arrested a 58-year-old man Tuesday after they reportedly stumbled upon an arsenal of illegal guns and material to build explosive devices at his home in an upscale Pasadena neighborhood.

The two-story Craftsman home of Leonard Hebert contained dozens of high-powered rifles, automatic weapons and hand grenade building materials, authorities said.

“There are in excessive of 50 weapons. Some automatic rifles and machine guns. They were stored in various rooms throughout the house,” Police Lt. Rick Aversano said. A dozen or so Pasadena detectives and officers, along with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms removed the cache Tuesday afternoon.


Police officers made the discovery inadvertently, as they chased a suspect in an unrelated robbery about 11 p.m. Monday. The suspect fled onto Hebert’s property on the 600 block of South Los Robles, and officers searched the grounds with guns drawn.

“At that point, it was thought the suspect may have entered the house. So officers checked it out and found some of the weapons in plain sight,” Aversano said.

The officers turned their attention from the suspect, who remains at large, to Hebert. Early Tuesday, they obtained a search warrant and discovered dozens more guns. Hebert was arrested on suspicion of having illegal firearms.

A short time later, he was released on $10,000 bail.

Within a few hours, however, he was taken into custody again after detectives searching the 2,400-square-foot house discovered items they believe could be assembled into active hand grenades, Aversano said.

Hebert was booked into the Pasadena jail and held on $150,000 bail.

“There are an awful lot of weapons--modern era, not vintage,” Aversano said. “There is nothing to suggest this is your typical vintage gun collector.”

But, he said, “so far we’ve found no subversive literature or anything else to explain why this man had so many firearms.”


Neighbors said Hebert lives alone and was considering retiring to Montana or Idaho. His 1914 home with peeling paint stood out on a block of mostly well-maintained homes.

Neighbor Richard Duerr said Hebert “seems like a nice guy. I know he had a pilot’s license.”

Hebert owns a 1946 Taylorcraft single-engine plane, Federal Aviation Administration records show.

Darryl Hany, who lives across the street, said he met Hebert for the first time Monday night as police surrounded the house. “He told me the [robbery suspect] had driven into his driveway,” Hany said. “He was standing outside with a flashlight. He seemed kind of nervous.”