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Teenage anglers reel after hauling in a sniper weapon
SHOCK: Josh Cook, left, and Alex Weller caught more than they expected while out fishing near Port Meadow and, below, their find
TWO teenagers out fishing thought they’d caught a whopper when they felt tugging on their rod.
But they were in for even more of a shock when they discovered the find was a black briefcase with a sniper rifle and a handgun inside.
Alex Weller and Josh Cook were fishing for pike in the River Thames at Port Meadow on Saturday when they snagged the case.
The teenagers, both 17, reeled it in and broke open the locks to discover the loaded rifle with a scope and silencer, and a pistol with ammunition.
Josh, from Horspath, said: “It was unbelievable.
“Once we saw what was in it, it made us think: What were they used for and why were they in there?”
Alex, from Headington, said he was fishing from the bank when his line caught a seam on the suitcase. He said the case was heavy and guessed it weighed more than 25kg.
He said: “It was quite exciting.
“We were expecting to find documents or a computer. Not guns at all.”
The teenager said the chances of them catching the case must have been extremely low.
He added: “Of all the rivers we could have fished in – there is probably more chance of us winning the Lottery.”
The anglers called the police after their lunchtime discovery, and armed response officers and a forensics specialist were sent to the scene.
Alex and Josh, both sixth form pupils at Wheatley Park School, said police told them the briefcase had probably been in the water for less than a month.
The young anglers’ families said the pair had been fishing for pike in the river a lot over the summer holidays.
Josh’s mum Paula Cook, Gidley Way, Horspath, said they had returned to try to catch a large fish they had almost caught in the same spot near Bossoms Boatyard on Friday.
The 56-year-old said she had been shocked by their find.
She said: “I think it is quite sinister. It makes you wonder what else is in there.”
Alex’s mother Dawn Weller, of Holley Crescent in Headington, said it was worrying to think about how the weapons ended up in the river.
Thames Valley Police spokesman Lucy Billen last night said forensic experts were still trying to determine what kind of weapons they were andif they had been used in any crime.