Naval Station Great Lakes was on lockdown on Friday morning as base authorities were searching for an alleged gate runner.
UPDATE – 10:35 a.m. CST – Naval Station Great Lakes posted an update on its Facebook page saying the “unauthorized” person who breached the base was ultimately identified as a base employee with authorized access.
“At approximately 7 a.m. (CST) today, a black Toyota Camry made an unauthorized entry into Gate One at Naval Station Great Lakes. The driver did not follow directions of the gate sentry. Base officials immediately locked down the main side of the base and initiated force protection measures. A search for the suspect and vehicle began,” the update said.
“With support from local, state and federal law enforcement, the vehicle was found at approximately 9:30 a.m. (CST) and shortly thereafter, the driver was located. The driver is an employee on the base with authorized access,” the statement continued.
“The vehicle and surrounding area are being swept by military working dogs and several buildings have been evacuated. There have been no injuries or damage to property,” the base noted. “In a separate incident, a civilian vehicle caught fire off base. It was unrelated to the gate runner.”
UPDATE: 9:55 a.m. CST – Navy authorities have located the unauthorized person and taken them into custody.
“Vehicle and driver located. Driver is in custody and being questioned. The area is being swept by military working dogs. Several buildings have been evacuated,” according to an update posted at 9:49 a.m. CST on the base’s Facebook page.
UPDATE 9:10 a.m. CST – The Navy base posted an update on the situation, explaining that the search is still underway for an unauthorized person on the base, and the base remains on lockdown.
“At 7:09 this morning, Naval Security Force reacted to a minor situation involving an unauthorized entry onto Naval Station Great Lakes. Naval security Force is responding to the situation. Naval Station Great Lakes is currently on lockdown,” the base’s Facebook post said.
“No one was harmed and no property was damaged. Further announcements will be made as additional information becomes available,” the posted added.
Video from the scene shows a heavy law enforcement presence and a long line of cars waiting to enter the base.
BREAKING: Naval Station Great Lakes remains on lockdown Friday after vehicle drove through an entrance gate. https://t.co/1EVIEId7P9 pic.twitter.com/4b7X1MXSTg
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) January 24, 2020
An earlier post from the base’s Facebook page at 7:20 a.m. CST had said: “Lockdown for NAVSTA Great Lakes. Run, hide, fight! All personnel, lockdown. Take cover in nearest building or structure. Await instruction. All gates are closed.”
Lake County Sheriff’s office told NBC Chicago that a car crashed at the front gate to the facility and authorities were conducting a search for the person.
The sheriff’s office also confirmed there is no threat outside the base.
“Preliminary information from the Naval Base is there is no known threat outside of the base,” the department said.
Naval Station Great Lakes is located 38 miles north of Chicago and is described as the Navy’s largest training base, hosting the branch’s only boot camp.
A graduation ceremony scheduled for Friday morning at the base was delayed by one hour “due to a variety of circumstances.”