At Home In The Woods: Camouflaged Residence Discovered in California Park
Eight months ago, Robert Downs, 51, set up a small structure in the woods near the Tujunga Ponds Wildlife Sanctuary in Sunland, Calif. To hide his home from police, Downs, who was previously homeless, sprayed it with camouflage paint and cut down nearby trees, said Johnie Jones, a deputy in the Parks Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The structure, which Downs built with materials he bought at Home Depot, contained four bunk beds built into the walls, tables, shelves and fire extinguishers. Outside were a rock patio, a barbecue grill and more tables. An American flag was draped over Downs’ bed.
Downs stood a chance of evading major legal trouble for his hidden house, but sheriff’s deputies also discovered that he cultivated eight marijuana plants outside the structure, a felony because he did not have a permit to do so, Jones said.
When Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies found Downs’s residence while on patrol Monday, he told them he had been living in the 13.5-acre wildlife sanctuary for more than a year, Jones said.
Downs was arrested on charges of marijuana cultivation and building a house on county property, Jones said. He is being held on a $30,000 bond, Jones said.
- Elaborate, Camouflaged Home Found in Calif. Park (abcnews.go.com)
- Camouflaged Residence Discovered in California Park (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- Homeless Man 51 Gets Busted in Cali for Setting Up a House in the Woods of an Animal Refuse (bonjupatten.com)
- Man suspected of living in Tujunga park shed, growing pot (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Illegal Hidden Shack In Park Discovered in Sunland (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
- 3 Men Found Growing Pot In Hidden Shack At Tujunga Wildlife Park (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
- No, You Can’t Build a Home & Grow Pot in a L.A. County Park (laist.com)
- LOOK: Man Lived In Illegal Pot Shed In Park (huffingtonpost.com)