According to Kern County Sheriff’s Office, two search and rescue volunteers were robbed at gunpoint while they were searching for 4 missing hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail between Highway 58 and Kelso Valley Road, California yesterday.
The suspects were 2 hispanic males with handguns and rifles.
The rescuers were not harmed and were advised by the suspects to leave the area immediately.
The injured hikers were located and long-line helicopter rescued by the Kern County Fire Dept & Kern County Sheriff personnel after the robbery. One of the hikers was injured.
The Sheriff’s Office and the USFS have now closed that segment of the Pacific Crest Trail until they determine the trail is safe.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
“So.CAL TRAIL CLOSURE in SECTION F: Saturday evening, July 8, the Kern County Sheriff’s Department (KCSO) initiated a public safety closure of the Pacific Crest Trail between Hwy 58 (east of Tehachapi) and Kelso Valley road (Mile 566-616). This is in response to the armed robberies of a civilian user and civilian members of the KCSO search and rescue team, which occurred on the PCT. KCSO has posted closure signs at the above locations, and will be inItiating a law enforcement response to address this criminal activity. The closure will lifted by KCSO after the threat has been mitigated.” – Pacific Crest Trail Association