MacDill AFB intruder freed after guilty plea
By HOWARD ALTMAN | Tampa Tribune, Fla. | Published: February 10, 2014
The woman who sneaked onto MacDill Air Force Base four times between Oct. 1, 2012, and Jan. 4, 2013, is a free woman after pleading guilty to four counts of illegally entering a military facility and one count of illegally using a military ID badge.
Suzanne Jensen, 50, pleaded guilty Jan. 31 to all five counts against her and was released Feb. 4 because she was incarcerated longer than her sentence, which was six months and three days, according to court records.
Jensen, who began sneaking onto military bases in 2003, has had delusions of being a secret agent, her mother, Karla Straube, said.
“I don’t know where she is,” Straube said. “I don’t know anything. All I know is that she has been released.”
Straube said her daughter has not been in touch with her since being released.
“She has severe mental health problems,” Straube said. “I didn’t create it, I can’t change it and I can’t control it, It is a difficult situation, but I am managing.”
The intrusions into MacDill, which included at least two cases in which Jensen said she scaled fences, prompted a review of security procedures, according to a base spokesman.
In July, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson conducted a review of security procedures at MacDill. After meeting with base leaders, Nelson said he was satisfied MacDill was safe.
Jensen began sneaking onto bases more than a decade ago, according to court records, starting in 2003 at Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, N.C. She has since been detained at Fort George C. Meade in Maryland, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia, Fort Carson in Colorado and Fort Benning in Georgia, in addition to MacDill.
In June, Jensen was charged with four counts of trespassing onto a federal military base and one count of unauthorized possession of a military identification after her actions at MacDill. The maximum sentence for each count was six months.
Jensen has excelled in life too, said her mother, who lives in Mt. Shasta, California.
“She was a championship swimmer,” Straube said in a previous interview. “She was an accomplished sailor. She has been on the Berkeley Yacht Club as a crew on many sailboats. She is a good racer. She snow skied and has been scuba diving and horseback riding.”
But as her daughter grew older, Straube said, mental illness began to get the best of her.
Jensen “is not a threat to anyone,” Straube said. “But she does think she is a secret agent and she goes on military bases, I guess, because she thinks she is either going for employment or thinks she is already employed. She really loves to work, and her motive, always, is employment.”