MARGATE — An elderly man is back on the street after firing a weapon at a Longport resident's fence, prompting investigators to search his home filled with explosives and weapons, police say.

Francis Beck, 82, is accused of firing two rounds from a CO2-powered handgun on May 16 at a Longport home on 36th Avenue. The shots hit the residence's fence and left visible bullet holes.

The Longport police said the gun was fired one block over on South Coolidge Avenue, which is in Margate. While the situation involved two jurisdictions, the Margate police allowed investigators in Longport to handle it.

Officers arrested Beck on May 26, according to Longport police. After taking him into custody, they obtained a search warrant for the man's home.

First, investigators said they found a "large cache of firearms" along with a "large quantity of ammunition."

What they found next prompted calls to the Atlantic City and Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Bomb Squad units, police said.

The Longport police reported finding a homemade explosive device, which stopped their search until the bomb squad arrived. The specialist team found several more homemade explosive devices and seized them, according to police.

Beck faces several charges including possession of destructive devices and multiple weapons offenses. And he's no longer in custody.

"In accordance with NJ bail reform, Beck’s charges were placed on summons and he was released after processing pending court," Longport police said.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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