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MacDill intruder arrested inside Colorado Army base

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Published:   |   Updated: August 8, 2013 at 05:57 PM

On July 29, after showing her driver’s license to the gate guards, a woman made her way onto Ft. Carson in Colorado and wound up in a Special Forces recruiting office. When she started asking questions about the 10th Special Forces Group, headquartered there, it raised concerns and military police were called in, according to a spokeswoman for the base.

The woman’s name was Suzanne Jensen. When MPs checked her background, they learned Jensen was facing charges in Florida after authorities said she sneaked onto MacDill Air Force Base four times over a three-month period. So they called El Paso County (Colo.) sheriff’s deputies, who arrested her on outstanding warrants. Jensen was then shipped back to Tampa.

Jensen didn’t violate any rules by being on the base, according to spokeswoman Dani Johnson.

“You don’t need a military ID to get on base,” she said. “But that policy is changing.”

The change, she said, has nothing to do with Jensen.

Jensen trespassed onto MacDill, home of U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Central Command, between Oct. 1 and Jan. 4, according to federal court records. She told base security that she twice scaled fences, one time using an overturned garbage can as a ladder.

MacDill wasn’t Jensen’s first illegal foray onto a military installation, according to records. Twice in February 2003 she illegally entered Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, according to federal records, but trespassing charges were dropped in 2007 due to prosecution discretion and “the staleness” of the case. On Dec. 6, 2011, she trespassed at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Fort Myer, Va., according to court records, and later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served.

Military bases don’t seem to be the only federal property Jensen has taken an interest in.

In 2003, she was arrested by Capitol Police in Washington, D.C., after being found in an office belonging to California congressman Devin Nunes.

She apparently snuck into the annex office after someone forgot to lock the door on a Friday afternoon, according to Damon Nelson, Nunes’ deputy chief of staff,

“I guess this lady was still in the building,” Nelson told The Tampa Tribune. “On the following Sunday, a legislative assistant tried to get in and found the door locked from the inside. She called the superintendant of the House, who came over and tried to unlock the door. Finally, the lady unlocked the door.”

Nelson said Jensen “tried to claim she was with the Department of Homeland Security and was doing a security check. It was clear there was no way she was with the Department of Homeland Security. She was trespassing, and they arrested her.”

After searching the small annex office, Nelson said the staff members found out how Jensen stayed nourished during the weekend.

“She ate all the food in the refrigerator,” he said. “She has been in one federal facility after another after another. She clearly has an interest in trespassing in federal facilities. That would signify she has a mental health issue that needs to be addressed.”

On Wednesday afternoon, a federal judge in Tampa ordered Jensen held without bail pending a hearing to determine whether she’s competent to stand trial. The hearing was scheduled for 12:15 p.m. Aug. 21.

hatlman@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7629

@haltman

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