TAMPA — A homeless woman charged with sneaking into MacDill Air Force Base four times since October has been arrested in Colorado on a federal warrant and returned to Tampa, court records show.
Records do not make clear when Suzanne Jensen, 50, was arrested nor provide the circumstances. But a hearing was held July 30 in U.S. District Court in Denver at which she waived a detention hearing in that state and agreed to return to Florida.
"Jensen states that she is the person being sought in Florida and Maryland," federal court records show. It is not clear why she is being sought in Maryland.
Jensen's first appearance is scheduled in Tampa's federal court at 2 p.m. today. She was charged in June with four federal charges of trespassing on a military installation and possession of a stolen military ID.
Jensen's ability to sneak onto MacDill, one of the nation's most important military installations, caused embarrassment for the base and led U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson to seek a briefing on security there. MacDill is home to the headquarters of two of the military's premier combat commands, U.S. Special Operations Command and Central Command.
Jensen, court records show, was first discovered at MacDill on Oct. 1, when she was found on a boat at MacDill's marina. She jumped in the water and swam away, records said, when confronted but was later found near a base restaurant. She was given a trespass warning.
But Jensen was discovered on the base three more times — Nov. 18, Dec. 17 and Jan. 4 — and received additional warnings. In the November incident, court records said, Jensen demonstrated to base security officers how she got onto the base by turning a trash can upside down and climbing over a wall.
In the last incident, records show, she told officers that "for about eight days she had been living inside a boat that was on a trailer parked in the base's family Camp area," the affidavit says.
Jensen has a history of trying to enter military installations. In August 2012, she pleaded guilty to a trespass charge after she was accused of illegally entering Fort Myer in Virginia. She was sentenced to time served.
In 2007, she was charged with two federal trespass counts in North Carolina in a case that eventually was dismissed. She was accused of illegally entering Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base.
After a MacDill tour and security briefing, Nelson said, "I am convinced that they are doing what they can, and it is sufficient for our national security interests."
William R. Levesque can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3432.