Loaded guns found in kid's tree house

Police: criminals spent night in tree house, ditched guns

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah (ABC4 News) - Police say two criminals, on the run, found a unique place to hide: a children’s tree house, where they stashed two loaded guns.

One of the guns was stolen. According to police, the two men slept in the tree house overnight.

“It’s a little scary, and a little nerve-wracking,” said a neighbor.

This all happened back in October, according to police, when two suspects — Juan Valencia, and a minor — had been on the run from police. They decided to camp out in the backyard tree house overnight.

“And you know how voices carry in the wind — and the next door neighbor actually heard them, and alerted the homeowner that owns the tree house and then we received the call,” said Sgt. Shane Taylor with Saratoga Springs Police.

Police say the two men left the guns in the tree house, hidden under a mat. What's concerning, police say, is that the guns were loaded and children could have discovered them.

The homeowner, who didn’t want to use her name or show her face, is still shaken by what happened.

“The guns were loaded, with hollow bullets, which I didn’t know very much about — but apparently they’re meant to kill,” she said.

“Made us really, really nervous. For the safety of our friends, and neighbors, and other kids,” she added.

The men were arrested and Valencia faces two felony charges. Because the other male is a minor, police couldn’t comment on possible charges he might face.


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