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Police capture escaped inmate

Posted: August 27, 2009 9:54 p.m.
Updated: August 28, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Adrian Mitilica

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An inmate escaped from Pitchess Detention Center on Thursday afternoon by stowing away in a laundry truck, only to be arrested hours later by Simi Valley police, authorities said.

Adrian Mitilica, 21, was caught in the 4200 block of Los Angeles Avenue in Simi Valley nearly three hours after his escape prompted sheriff’s deputies to scour Castaic’s hillsides and lock down nearby schools.

“These few hours of freedom are going to cost him probably a few years in state prison under maximum security conditions,” said Sgt. Darren Harris of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Thursday’s escape was the first since March 2007.

About noon, sheriff’s deputies at the Pitchess Detention Center’s south facility noticed Mitilica, who was jailed on charges of burglary, had gone missing.

Dozens of deputies locked down Castaic-area schools and combed the surrounding hillsides on offroad motorbikes.

Meanwhile, investigators looked at security camera footage that showed Mitilica climbing into a Simi Valley-bound laundry truck, Harris said.

Sheriff’s deputies alerted Simi Valley police.

Officers there went to the laundry business and learned an employee had seen Mitilica jump off the roof of the truck and run off, Harris said. Police closed off several blocks and arrested Mitilica about 2:45 p.m. as sheriff’s deputies arrived.

Harris said it appeared Mitilica had somehow cut a hole in the fiberglass roof of the truck, which he had used to climb out. The escape was still under investigation, he said.



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