By Denise Ellen Rizzo
A 21-year-old Manteca man escaped from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s honor farm on Sunday, July 22.
According to sheriff’s officials, Nicholas Vance Perez left the honor farm on the 900 block of West Mathews Road in French Camp around 2 a.m. He was a worker in the jail kitchen and he was most recently seen wearing white clothing to signify a kitchen worker, with “jail” marked on his pants and shirt.
Sheriff’s spokesman Les Garcia didn’t know as of Tuesday, July 24, how Perez escaped the minimum security facility.
Perez was at the county jail to serve time for vehicle theft, burglary and theft. He was scheduled for release on Sept. 30.
Inmates at the honor farm undergo an extensive process to see if they meet the facility’s criteria, which includes the charges they face and their behavior, Garcia said. The majority of honor farm inmates work outside the facility each day, including on road crews that pick up trash along the freeway, maintenance crews for the jail property and workers at area landfills.
Once inside the honor farm, inmates are allowed to roam the barracks and exercise areas freely, Garcia said, as opposed to inmates housed in the main jail, who are on lockdown overnight inside cells.
Garcia said escape from the honor farm isn’t something new, and that escapes often involve inmates who feel they need to take care of something in their personal life. He said the majority turn themselves back into authorities.
Garcia said jail officials do not consider Perez to be a threat to the public. He is described as a Latino man, 5-feet, 5 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds with hazel eyes and brown hair.
Garcia asked anyone with information about the missing inmate to contact the sheriff’s office at 468-4409.
• Contact Denise E. Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org