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Man released from Shasta County jail breaks into courthouse, squats in attic

After having a three day weekend, employees at the courthouse returned to work to find someone had been living there while they were gone.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2018 6:42 PM

A man recently released from the Shasta County jail is back in jail after breaking into and squatting in the Shasta County Courthouse.

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After having a three day weekend, employees at the courthouse returned to work to find someone had been living there while they were gone.

“And this person was seeking shelter,” court executive officer Melissa Fowler-Bradley said. “He appeared to be a homeless person seeking shelter. And since that time, there have been additional developments where we learned that the person actually gained access to a crawl space in our attic.”

Fowler-Bradley says 22-year-old Jake Robert Shults got into the building through a window.

“Windows are a difficult thing,” Melissa Fowler-Bradley said. “No matter how you secure them or lock them, they have breakable glass.”

Shults was arrested Tuesday night and charged with burglary.

Fowler-bradley says there was some minor damage done in some parts of the building, but she doesn't believe Shults had any malicious intent

The courthouse was built in 1955.

And as much as they're tried to retrofit the building to today's standards, it just has a lot of bad design features, Fowler-Bradley said.

“Definitely not something that you would find in any courthouse built today,” she said. “But I think that we're taking every precaution that we can to ensure it doesn't happen again.”

She says she's looking forward to breaking ground on the new courthouse which will have a bevy of new security features that will be much safer for everyone.

“It's designed so that it incorporates all of the standards that are used in today's construction and safety features that are included in courthouses,” Fowler-Bradley said. “It's also a much larger building. It has more comprehensive security system, cameras, the entire building is very, very different than the one that we're in today.”

The case is currently under investigation by the Redding Police Department and the Marshall's office.

Shults' bail is set at $10,000.

If all goes according to plan with the budget, ground should break on the new courthouse July 1.

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