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The Kern County Department of Human Services had to be evacuated Tuesday morning after employees heard sounds coming from the ceiling.

The Bakersfield Police Department said officers were sent to the department, located at 100 E. California Ave., at around 8:03 a.m. and ordered an evacuation of the building so officers could conduct a search.

The department said officers found Steven Valdez hiding in a crawl space in the ceiling. He was subsequently arrested and booked into the Kern County Jail on suspicion of second-degree burglary.

Valdez also had two warrants out for his arrest for trespassing, concealing/destroying evidence, stalking and possessing a controlled substance.

No additional suspects were found during a search of the building, the department said. 

BPD said it is believed Valdez had broken into the building somehow with the intention of stealing something from the department. The case is still under investigation.

Once inside employees reported hearing noises again and the building was evacuated for the second time.

Employees were initially allowed to return to the building but the department eventually decided to close down for the day after employees reported hearing more noises. BPD said no other arrests have been made. 

(2) comments


What was he going to steal, welfare checks?

Athena Bragi

With all that is going on in our world today. Today is proof that the County heads fail at protecting their employees. No alarm sounded and security failed to notice the break in. It took County Employees. Imagine if he had firearms.....County Heads need to wske up and step up to insure the safety of it's employees!

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