Crime Watch 8

Yorktown neighbors shocked by man’s arrest on federal gun charges

Yorktown neighbors shocked by man’s arrest on federal gun charges

YORKTOWN, Ind. (WISH) — Neighbors of a man accused of illegally modifying guns are shocked by the arrest on their quiet street.

One photo from police shows about a dozen guns on display.

Police said Ali Samir El-Ghit, 19, took Glock pistol parts to modify weapons illegally.

Most of his neighbors said there were no strange cars or indication of criminal activity. One mom even remarked she was more worried about a coyote or stray dog hurting her kids than something like this.

But police said there was much more going on than meets the eye on Finnlandia Court. It’s a street where the cicadas drown out any sound from humans Friday afternoon.

“Very little crime if any,” said neighbor Randy Mahon.

“It’s a great neighborhood,” adds Eric Parin.

A quiet house on the 1000 block doesn’t stand out. It’s nicely maintained. But it makes a photo from Yorktown police with all the guns all the more shocking.

“Wow,” said Mahon as News 8 showed him the photo. “That’s unbelievable.”

Most neighbors said El-Ghit’s parents are friendly and would wave, but they didn’t know them well.

When we rang the doorbell Friday afternoon, no one came to the door.

The raid was on Tuesday and involved the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Postal Inspection Service and Yorktown police.

El-Ghit was taken to Marion county where he faces federal charges.

Parin is a father of three young children.

“When you see all the weapons on the table and it was right down the street, obviously it’s a little alarming. It would be for anybody,” he said.

But he said he’s holding off judgment for now.

Neighbors said the El-Ghits moved in 4-5 years ago and took what had been a little shabby and turned it into a beauty with plenty of flowers and a welcome sign.

Though some residents who didn’t want to go on camera said they did see a few hints of trouble, like strange cars late at night.

The arrest brings recent mass shootings like El Paso to mind for Randy Mahon.

“Feels like it can happen at the Walmart down the street now seeing that,” he said. “That brings it home. With the violence going on in the country, that brings it into a neighborhood, the last neighborhood I would have suspected.”

The neighborhood is back to being quiet, apart for the cicadas. But now the El-Ghit home sticks out from the dozen others.

“It will be difficult not to, at least for awhile,” said Parin.

“I thought I knew most of my neighbors but obviously I don’t know them nearly as well as I thought I did,” adds Mahon.

Yorktown police said drugs and cash were also found.

Both police and Homeland Security did on return WISH-TV’s messages.

El-Ghit was still in the Marion County Jail as of Friday night.