Security Breach: Man Driving Stolen Car Gets On, Off NAS Lemoore
LEMOORE, Calif. (KMPH) —
Kings County sheriff deputies say a man got past an armed guard at the main entrance of Naval Air Station Lemoore.
Deputies say 35-year old Geronimo Garza was in a stolen car and tried to hide on base, forcing military police to go on alert.
It happened around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Deputies say Garza didn't have a pass for the gate, so the armed guard told him to enter but make a u-turn at the stop light instead, Garza went straight and headed toward some houses on the base.
"Our commanding officer was immediately notified, he lives on base," said Melinda Larson, spokeswoman for NAS Lemoore. "Our security officers went into action, we notified everyone on Facebook and our military working dogs went into working mode."
Nearly five hours later, Kings County deputies arrested Garza, but only after a farmer said Garza was trespassing on his land south of the base.
Homeland Security expert and Fresno State political science professor Kenneth Hansen said that any breach of security at an armed military installation should be considered serious.
"You don't want someone coming in and shooting up the place, which has happened on military bases," Hansen said. "Or do you want security to be compromised, secretes like flight plans or troop movements could fall into the wrong hands."
So, the question must be asked, why didn't the military police fire?
Melinda Larson could not provide KMPH with an answer. But she did offer: "Security forces go through extensive training over and over again, I wasn't there that night, I don't know what the circumstances were that night. I wasn't there."
Garza was found with methamphetamine in pocket, deputies said. He was also suspected of being under the influence when he entered the military base.