Covina police Thursday jailed an Ontario convicted felon and registered sex offender on suspicion of stealing an arsenal of firearms, family heirlooms and other items in thefts throughout the San Gabriel Valley, officials said.
Christopher Montgomery, 30, was booked on suspicion of residential burglary and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearms, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
Montgomery had a loaded handgun in his backpack when arrested, and an additional 15 guns — including an AR-15, other rifles and handguns — were recovered from inside his home in the 400 block of West Locust Street in Ontario, Peterson said. Thousands of rounds of ammunition believed to have been stolen from the home were also recovered at Montgomery’s residence.
Eight of the guns had been reported stolen in an October break-in at a home in the 400 block of West Front Street in Covina, Covina police officials said.
Another had been reported stolen in November in the sheriff’s Industry Station’s patrol jurisdiction, while another was reported stolen in November to the sheriff’s Walnut/Diamond Bar Station, Peterson said.
The loaded handgun found in Montogomery’s backpack as he was arrested while leaving his home was believed to have been purchased by a family member, the sergeant said. Detectives were still looking into how Montgomery obtained the five remaining guns.
Police identified Montgomery as a suspect in the October burglary in Covina through forensic evidence collected at the scene, Covina police said in a written statement.
They were also looking into the possibility he may be responsible for other area crimes as well, police said.
In addition to the stolen guns, Peterson said, police also recovered other stolen items such as jewelry.
“There was a class ring which had extreme sentimental value to the victim, and an heirloom (ring),” he said.
Combined with removing more than a dozen guns from the hands of a convicted felon who is barred from possessing them, “There’s a lot of satisfaction in that,” Peterson said.
Though identified by police as a convicted sex offender, Montgomery is not listed on the state’s Megan’s Law registry of convicted sex offenders. Details on his previous conviction were not available Friday.
According to county booking records, Montgomery was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail at the Covina Police Department jail pending a scheduled arraignment Monday in West Covina Superior Court.
PHOTOS of Christopher Montgomery and seized firearms courtesy of the Covina Police Department.