On July 24, 2023, at about 4:16 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a licensed cannabis farm on the 2800 block of French Road in Miranda for the report of an armed robbery.
Deputies contacted an adult male victim with minor injuries as they were responding to the property. The victim told deputies that a former manager of the farm, 49-year-old Thomas Vernon Harwood Jr., arrived at the property unannounced with approximately 10 masked suspects. While there, Harwood reportedly assaulted the victim and detained him in a vehicle on the property. Meanwhile, the masked suspects reportedly stole a large amount of cannabis upon Harwood’s instruction. The victim was able to escape in the vehicle and meet deputies further down the road.
While investigating this incident, law enforcement officers located and detained Harwood nearby. According to witnesses on scene, the masked suspects fled the property in a white Ford pickup truck with concealed license plates. The suspects are described as Hispanic male adults, wearing dark clothing and body armor, possibly in possession of firearms. These suspects are still outstanding at this time.
Harwood was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of robbery (PC 211), first degree burglary (PC 459/461(a)), false imprisonment (PC 236) and conspiracy to commit a crime (PC 182(a)(1)).
This case is still under investigation. Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office would like to thank the California Highway Patrol for their assistance during this incident.
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Thomas Vernon Harwood Jr. Booking Photo | Humboldt County Correctional Facility