Police Find Burglar Living in ‘Very Well-Built and Modern Tree House’

By Colin Fredericson

A thief has been arrested after he was discovered living in a well-furnished tree house. Police were able to locate him with heat-sensing technology.

Mark Duda, 56, is suspected of burglarizing a home in Pomona, California, according to a news release from the Pomona Police Department. A resident told police on April 18 that he saw Duda leaving his home with stolen items.

Duda was arrested on May 21 after police received a tip that he was staying in a tree, according to the news release. It was “a very well-built and modern tree house.”

Local police deployed officers with dogs and a helicopter to find Duda, according to the news release. The helicopter’s heat-sensing system helped police on the ground to pinpoint Duda’s location.

“Numerous verbal commands were given and the suspect eventually climbed down from the tree house. The suspect was arrested without incident.” according to the news release.

The tree house had lighting, barbecue equipment, a saxophone, and a cuckoo clock, among other things, according to NBC4.

“I wasn’t aware he was living 100 feet from my house,” said local resident Julio Loza, via NBC4.

Loza told NBC4 that the area had received more homeless people recently, and that the area exposes them to danger.

“On the one hand, we all have a soft spot for the homeless and we all like to help,” Loza told NBC4, “but on the other hand, it’s a dangerous situation not only for the neighborhood but also for him because we’ve had fires started in these hills before.”

Duda has family that live near the tree house where he hid, an NBC4 video report revealed.

Some of the people who commented on a Facebook post of Duda’s situation by the Pomona Police had somewhat positive things to say about the man’s carpentry skills. The post contained pictures of the tree house.

“Thank you and Great job pomona p.d., and do you think i can get his number, I have a friend who wants a tree house,” commented Manuel Martinez.

“I might hire him to build our addition. He’s got skills!” commented Joanne Frisk Adams.

“[W]hen is this property going to be available for rent? [V]ery interested. [A]mazing view,” commented Omvr Mejiv.

Twitter users had more sophisticated jokes about the case.

“The tree house had a fire pit, lighting, and a barbecue. He could have AIRBNBed that place,” commented @MimsyYamaguchi.

“What a great view he had mortgage free,” commented @qtnfun7.

Tree House Grandmother

A Florida grandmother was forced to leave a luxurious tree house she lived in since 1992, the Miami Herald reported.

“When I am up in my tree house in thunder, lightning and rain, I am in heaven,” Shawnee Chasser told the Herald. “There’s nothing nicer, more spiritual, more wonderful.”

Miami-Dade County officials did not want Chasser living in the tree house property because it was dangerous and not up to building codes, inspections, and permits, according to the Herald. Miami building code safety is related to the frequency of hurricanes that move through the area.

Chasser blames the visit by county inspectors to a renegade tenant that she used to host, the Herald reported. Chasser made money by renting her tree house living spaces to others, and by selling popcorn from her popcorn company that she sold in Whole Foods locations.