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San Quentin escapee caught in fast-food spot, California authorities say

California authorities on Saturday announced the arrest of an escaped prisoner who has been missing since he walked away from San Quentin State Prison earlier this week.
(California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)

California authorities on Saturday announced the arrest of an escaped prisoner who has been missing since he walked away from San Quentin State Prison earlier this week.

The accused, Shalom Mendoza, was captured in Paso Robles, San Rafael police tweeted.

Around 12:30 a.m., the 21-year-old was “taken into custody without incident” at a fast-food restaurant; a witness saw him at a Taco Bell, and to the knowledge of the authorities, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) said in a press release.

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Days earlier, on the evening of Dec. 26, the suspect was discovered to be missing during an institutional count,” corrections officials said.

“He was assigned to work outside the secure perimeter of the prison some of the prisoners, and he made use of the opportunity to leave,” the press release said.

Mendoza is also suspected of committing a carjacking in a Home Depot parking lot, officials said. Leaving the vehicle on Friday, they will be added.

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Mendoza arrived at CDCR last year after being sentenced to five years behind bars “for the use of a deadly weapon during a carjacking/attempted carjacking and evading or attempting to evade a peace officer while driving recklessly,” according to the penitentiary officials.

The prisoner of the case will be sent to the Marin County District Attorney’s Office, which will decide whether to charge him escape and carjacking.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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