Police in Southern California have released images of a covert underground “hiding area” they say was discovered beneath a house linked to a gang member.
According to the Fontana Police Department in San Bernardino County, the secretive area also contained a section that was being used as a shooting range. It was uncovered by experts from the department’s gang unit, known as SMASH, who searched a manhole at the residence.
The gang suspect, who was detained by the cops, was not identified in the news release, which was posted to Facebook alongside three pictures of the concealed bunker-like room.
Fontana Police said “numerous” firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition had been located in the alleged gang member’s refuge. The cache included a “100 round drum for an AR-15 rifle.” All of the evidence was seized and multiple suspects were booked without incident.
One released image showed the manhole with its covering taken off. A small ladder leading down into the hideaway could clearly be seen. Based on a second image, showing the California police officers searching the scene, it appeared that the rooms were fitted with electricity. In the third and final picture, a number of sandbags were seen piled high on top of each other.
The Fontana Police Department had some tough words for gang members in the area. It boasted that the officers will uncover nefarious plots—underground or not.
It said: “Friendly message to anyone who wants to engage in illegal activity and be a member of a gang. We will never give up on keeping our community safe and free of violence. We are the champions at Hide and Seek and no manhole will help you. If you hide we will find you.”
“If you run you will go to jail tired. If you do crime in our city, we will hunt you in the pursuit of justice for our community,” it added. “We strongly recommend that you put as much effort as you did in your underground cave, into becoming a productive member of society. You will thank us later for this advice.”
SMASH is the San Bernardino County Movement Against Street Hoodlums. It was reactivated in the mid-00s after being shut in the 1990s for budgetary reasons, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The unit has been known to make huge sweeps against alleged gang members. In January 2017, Operation Bad Blood resulted in the arrest of dozens of suspects. While back in 2014, another campaign led to the arrest of 120 people in one night, The San Bernardino Sun reported.