An investigation in to the report earlier in the week that a group of Spanish tourists were robbed at gunpoint has proven the allegation to be false. The tourists ‘admitted that they fabricated the park robbery story because they were concerned about being associated with activities at a local marijuana operation.‘
Thank you to Richard Stenger for contacting us and sending over the press release from Greg Morse, Chief of Visitor Protection at Redwood National and State Parks –
LBJ Trailhead Robbery Proven False Alarm
Park law enforcement rangers have determined the report from tourists of being robbed at gunpoint near the Lady Bird Johnson (LBJ) trailhead of Redwood National and State Parks on Nov. 3 was not true. No armed robbery took place within the parks and visitors should not be concerned about exploring the wonders of their public lands.
Upon notification of robbery, park law enforcement rangers immediately began investigating the area along Bald Hills Road where the incident allegedly took place, and began comparing its time frame with similar incidents reported outside park boundaries. While the victims claimed that multiple shots were fired from an assault-style rifle, no shell casings were found on the ground. In addition, other National Park Service employees in the area at the same time as the alleged robbery heard no shots fired.
Rangers then conducted multiple witness interviews, including the land owner of the first robbery that took place off Bald Hills Road on private land. The rangers were then able, through a third party, to contact the five tourists. They admitted that they fabricated the park robbery story because they were concerned about being associated with activities at a local marijuana operation.
Park law enforcement rangers are continuing their investigation into the matter and are collaborating with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.
The reduced crowds during fall and winter months, combined with the enhanced beauty of rain-washed forests make this a very enjoyable time of year for scenic drives and trail strolls. However, for safety when traveling and parking in remote areas it is always prudent to stow your valuables, electronics and accessories well out of sight—or better yet, bring them with you. Lock and alarm your vehicle, and be aware of your surroundings.
Redwood National and State Parks law enforcement officers encourage anyone with information regarding the Bald Hills Road robberies or any suspected crime within the parks to call the park crime tip line at: (707) 465-7353.
On Friday last week, a group of Spanish tourists were robbed by three gunmen carrying rifles, one of whom was wearing a ‘tactical SWAT vest’. The tourists had been hiking in Redwood National Park , and were ambushed when they returned to their vehicles at Lady Bird Johnson Grove. The gunmen fired shots in the air, demanded money and then stole the two vehicles.
This was the third armed robbery in two days in the area, and the local sheriff’s department believes the robberies are linked. In all of the robberies, the gunmen demanded marijuana and money and went on to steal two vehicles.
They were immediately approached by a male suspect wearing a tactical style vest with the word “SWAT” on the front of it. An additional male suspect then walked out as well. The second suspect was armed with what they described as an assault style rifle. All of the tourists were ordered to lay on the ground as a third suspect walked up from behind them. Suspect three fired four to five shots into the air. The shots were in rapid succession which led the victims to believe it was fully automatic. The tourists were ordered to empty their pockets and their belongs were collected by the suspects. The suspects then took both of the tourists vehicles.
Please click here to read the rest of this press release, and the press releases relating to the other two robberies.
- KCRTV.com – HCSO: Suspects wanted for string of armed robberies stealing vehicles, marijuana
- Mad River Union – Tourists robbed at Redwood National Park
- Redwood Times – Armed suspects dressed in tactical gear rob tourists, pot farmer, residents in Bald Hills Road, Redwood Valley
- KIEM-TV – Tourists robbed after hiking in Redwood National Park
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