SAN JOSE -- Police in San Jose on Tuesday discovered a cache of recently stolen power tools and firearms hidden in an underground bunker near a Coyote Creek homeless encampment and arrested six suspects in connection with the investigation.
San Jose officers were conducting a follow-up investigation of a commercial burglary incident that occurred Monday when they made the find.
The investigation led them to a homeless encampment in the area of Coyote Creek and Wool Creek Drive, where they discovered the underground bunker filled with thousands of dollars worth of stolen items including stolen tools, equipment and firearms.
"It's a hideout that was used to store stolen goods and hid the criminality that otherwise would have been discovered in an apartment or a house," said San Jose Police Department spokesperson Officer Stephen Aponte.
Detectives said it was an burglary of a nearby business, Sprig Electric. early Monday morning that eventually led them to the bunker. Officers say they discovered one of the cars stolen in the robbery stashed near the entrance to the bunker, which was not just being used to stash the stolen merchandise.
"Officers found the bunker -- a living area built into the side of the creek bed. Five of the individuals were living in that bunker and utilizing it as a hideout," Officer Aponte said.
Officer Aponte said the entrance to the bunker was narrow and low, requiring officers to crawl on their hands and knees to access a more spacious interior area.
"It's completely an illegal site -- dangerous, hazardous to the health of the people attempting to live in that location. And it was invisible to common eye," Officer Aponte said.
The San Jose Police Public Information Officer Twitter account posted about the arrests at around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The post included photos of the large stash of power tools and several rifles that were recovered by the officers. Police said a total of six suspects were arrested on a variety of charges in connection with the investigation.
In total, San Jose police said approximately $100,000 worth of stolen goods were returned to Silicon Valley-based Sprig Electric.
The police department said it's not entirely clear what happens to the bunker now that their investigation has wrapped up. A police spokesperson says it's up to city hall to decide if the bunker will be demolished to prevent anyone else from accessing it in the future.
Devin Fehely contributed to this report.
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