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Sen. Bill Nelson looks into MacDill security breaches by homeless woman Suzanne Jensen

5:57 PM, Jul 10, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - The main gate at MacDill Air Force Base is heavily guarded. Motorists show ID and some vehicles are even checked for bombs. But despite this type of security, a homeless woman, Suzanne Jensen, was able to sneak onto base four times.

Last October, Barney Morris discovered Jensen on his boat docked at the base marina. "I saw this lady coming from inside my cabin and I was like, 'Whoa, who is this?'" described Morris.

The retired Air Force Major says Jensen spun a far-fetched story. "She wanted me to believe she was working for the CIA," he said with a laugh. But then Jensen jumped in the water and swam away. The 50-year-old managed to elude searchers for six hours before she was caught and cited for trespassing.

But that was just the beginning of the woman's wanderings. Documents filed in federal court outline how officers found Jensen on base three more times. They found her in a fitness center with a stolen military ID. Another time Jennings told officers she had been hiding in a trailered boat at the camp ground and stayed on base for eight days.

So did Jensen have some fancy, high-tech equipment to help her get inside the gates? Not quite. In one case she overturned a garbage can, pulled it up to a cement block wall near the MacDill gate and hopped over.

"It's unacceptable," Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) said from Washington.

Nelson says it's a good thing that Jensen had no violent intentions and that these incidents reveal security failings. He intends to meet with MacDill officials on Friday for a full briefing.

"I want to know why it happened, why it happened four times and I want to know what's been done to prevent this in the future," Nelson said.

The Public Affairs office at MacDill had no comment on Wednesday about the security breaches.

Records indicate Jensen has done similar things at other military installations. There is a warrant out for her arrest.

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