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Authorities capture 2 escaped inmates

April 28, 2010 12:24:05 AM PDT
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. reports two escaped inmates have been captured. They were being transported to the Santa Clarita sheriff's station. According to the sheriff's department, the two inmates approached a home in the Santa Clarita area. The inmates asked a homeowner for clothes.

The homeowner became suspicious, and after the two inmates left, the homeowner called police.

Officers were in the area on the hunt for the two men, and quickly apprehended the pair shortly after the homeowner's report. The two were caught in a warehouse in an industrial area about a half-mile from the jail.

Authorities had been searching intensely Wednesday for the pair who escaped from a jail facility north of Los Angeles. Drivers were warned not to pick up any hitchhikers.

The men escaped from the North County Correctional Facility at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic. The facility was locked down Wednesday while authorities searched for the fugitives.

The escapees were identified as armed robbery suspects Winder Barrios and Jose Aldana, both 24 years old, of Van Nuys. They are friends and were reportedly neighbors. They are accused of using a shotgun in a home-invasion robbery and of robbing motorists in the Hollywood area, according to a district attorney spokesperson.

Aldana and Barrios were due back in court Wednesday to face 11 felony counts and 40 years to life in prison.

"They were nearing the end of their trial, and apparently it wasn't looking good for their case, and they were expecting -- anticipating, if you will -- a guilty verdict," said L.A. County Sheriff's Department Spokesman Steve Whitmore. "And connected to that guilty verdict, some severe jail time."

Deputies believe the suspects planned the escape. They are suspected of leaving from a kitchen loading dock area.

"Two inmates were on a work detail at one of our kitchen docks. It's a secure area, but trucks come and go. About 1:05 they were on a work detail, and then we officially noticed them to be missing at 3:15 when we did our wristband count," said Whitmore.

The inmates had last been seen wearing light green jail jumpsuits.

Freeway signs along the 14 and 5 freeways warned drivers not to pick up hitchhikers while the inmates were at large.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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