'Suspicious' man with machete who prompted search is arrested

newsroom@thetribunenews.comNovember 8, 2012 

Jeffrey Lee Wilson, 41, of Atascadero was arrested Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. Original story »

Atascadero police have arrested a machete-wielding, camouflage-garbed man who disappeared into the brush near the Salinas River near Templeton last week after a burglary in Templeton.

Police arrested Jeffrey Lee Wilson, 41, on Nov. 4 for allegedly being under the influence of a controlled substance, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office said Thursday in a news release. Burglary charges against Wilson have been sent to the District Attorney’s Office for review.

Wilson came to the attention of law enforcement on Nov. 2, when he was reported to them as a “suspicious person” because of the machete and the way he was attired. He was on the 1500 block of Templeton Road, and when police arrived they discovered a burglary had taken place nearby.

Wilson, whose identity was not known at the time, had gone into the bushes. Authorities launched a massive search using a helicopter, K-9 units, Atascadero police and sheriff’s deputies.

They came up empty at first, but at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 4 they found and arrested Wilson in the riverbed on the west side of Highway 101.

He had a hunting knife, but dropped it when ordered to do so.

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