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Man Looking for Treasure at Manzanar Arrested

Thanks to a concerned visitor at Manzanar National Historic Site last weekend, law enforcement authorities were able to apprehend an individual using a metal detector and shovel inside the park boundary. It is a federal crime to dig for artifacts, use a metal detector, or take any items from the ground in Manzanar National Historic Site.

Shortly before 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, 2019, a visitor stopped at the front desk and reported seeing an individual with a metal detector. The visitor was able to describe the car and give the license plate. Manzanar rangers called Inyo County Sheriff Department, and within minutes a sheriff’s deputy and a California Department of Fish and Wildlife warden had arrived and detained the suspect. Law enforcement rangers from Death Valley National Park were called to investigate. The suspect faces possible criminal charges.

Manzanar Superintendent Bernadette Johnson expressed gratitude to the visitor and law enforcement whose actions helped deter damage to the site and loss of valuable cultural history. “Manzanar staff members take our responsibility to protect historic resources seriously,” she said. “And it is great to see that the public does as well.”

You can help protect our treasured National Park Service sites.  If you see something suspicious in any National Park Service (NPS) site, stay safe and tell us about it. Talk to any NPS employee for help, or give the Special Agents of the NPS Investigative Services Branch a call. We understand that it may take time to reach areas with cell or internet service. You don’t have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know: go.usa.gov/xPd8J