German authorities have seized a Panther tank along with other military equipment from an elderly man in Heikendorf. According to the BBC, the tank was being kept in the man’s cellar (it’s unclear how he got it down there in the first place) and required another tank to recover. Over the course of nine hours, 20 soldiers excavated the tank, an anti-aircraft gun, a torpedo, and more.

This arsenal was apparently something of an open secret in the neighborhood. The BBC reports:

Several German media reports mention that residents had seen the man drivin it around town about 30 years ago. “He was chugging around in it during the snow catastrophe in 1978,”Mayor Alexander Orth was quoted as saying. But he later added: “I took this to be the eccentricity of an old man, but it looks like there’s more to it than that.”

For more on the incident, including the potential defense mounted by the man’s legal counsel, visit the BBC’s website.

(Photo: Carsten Rehder/AP)

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