PASO ROBLES, Calif. - Department of Corrections officials have apprehended an inmate who walked away from San Quentin State Prison on Dec. 26, 2018.
Shalom Mendoza was taken into custody by CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety, Special Service Unit agents at approximately 12:30 p.m. at a fast food restaurant in Paso Robles. A civilian observed Mendoza at a Taco Bell, and contacted CDCR agents. Mendoza was taken into custody without incident.
Mendoza, 21, was reported missing during an institutional count at approximately 9:35 p.m. on Dec. 26. He was assigned to work outside the secured perimeter of the prison, as some inmates are. Officials say he took advantage of the opportunity to escape from prison.
Mendoza is the suspect in a carjacking that happened in a Home Depot parking lot in the San Rafael area. The car, a Toyota RAV4, was found abandoned off the 101 Freeway north of Paso Robles on Friday.
Mendoza was received by CDCR from Los Angeles County on December 20, 2017 with a five-year sentence for use of deadly weapon during a carjacking/attempted carjacking and evading or attempting to evade a peace officer while driving recklessly.
He has been transported to the California Men’s Colony and his case will be referred to the Marin County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of escape charges and carjacking.
Since 1977, 99 percent of all offenders who have left an adult institution, camp or community-based program without permission have been apprehended, said DCR officials.
San Quentin State Prison, California’s oldest prison, opened in 1852 and houses more than 4,200 inmates and employs 1,870 people.