Allegations that three armed suspects robbed a group of tourists near Lady Bird Johnson Grove have proven to be false, Redwood National and State Parks officials said late Monday.
Upon notification that tourists were robbed at gunpoint near the attraction on Bald Hills Road on Nov. 3, park law enforcement began investigating the area where the incident allegedly took place, comparing its time frame with similar incidents reported outside the national park, according to a Redwood National and State Parks news release received Monday.
The victims claimed multiple shots were fired from an assault-style rifle but no shell casings were found, according to the news release. Other National Park Service employees in the area also stated they heard no shots fired, according to the release.
Rangers then interviewed the landowner from the first robbery that took place on private land on Bald Hills Road and were also able to contact the five tourists.
According to the park’s news release, the tourists admitted they fabricated the robbery story because they were concerned about being associated with activities at a local marijuana operation.
The alleged robbery was one of three being investigated by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The suspects in each incident were described as wearing SWAT-type tactical gear, according to the sheriff’s office.
The first incident occurred on Stover Road off Bair Road on Nov. 2. The suspects pointed rifles at two victims and demanded money and marijuana and left with their shoes and vehicles when the victims said they had none, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspects in that incident were described as white or possibly Native American, according to the sheriff’s office. One was in his late 20s and the other was likely in his 30s or 40s. Both had their faces covered and were wearing “SWAT-type gear,” according to the sheriff’s office.
The second incident on Nov. 3 occurred on Bald Hills Road near Pine Creek Road. A private landowner reported one of his more than 30 employees had texted him to report they were being robbed. The landowner claimed he had a permitted marijuana grow at that location, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.
It was reported that three men wearing tactical-style gear with the word SWAT came onto the property and, armed with AR-15 and AK-47-style rifles, made off with personal property, about 1,000 pounds of marijuana and several vehicles, according to the sheriff’s office.
Authorities described the three suspects as “Native American-looking men, all under six feet tall,” according to the sheriff’s office. Two of the suspects referred to themselves as “Killer 1” and “Killer 2,” according to the sheriff’s office.
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’s crime tip line at 707-465-7353.