Raul Edgardo Lopez, 25, was discovered missing from the dairy, where he worked as a herdsman, during an inmate count at 2:30 a.m. today, June 4, said prison spokesman Lt. George Paul.
Working off of a tip from a Tracy resident, Investigative Services Unit officers responded to downtown Tracy, and identified Lopez sitting inside a taxi near the intersection of 10th Street and Central Avenue, Paul said. Lopez was captured without incident, returned to DVI and placed in administrative segregation until prison officials can complete their investigation, Paul said.
“We received the tip of a possible sighting, went out and found our man,” Paul said. “We got him apprehended. Thank you Tracy residents.”
One man who witnessed the capture said he was surprised by the sound of approaching sirens.
“I was just walking to the (Community Banks Northern California), and all of a sudden I heard all the sirens,” said Gene Birk, who was standing near the downtown intersection around 12:30 p.m. “I saw three unmarked cars come screeching to a halt, surrounding this cab. I had no idea what that was. I’m glad they caught him.”
Paul said the inmate, who has yet to be interviewed by prison authorities, has not disclosed when he escaped from the prison’s minimum custody facility used for dairy, farm and grounds keeping workers, located outside the secured walls of the prison. Neither had Lopez shared why he was in downtown Tracy at the time of his capture, Paul said.
Lopez was serving a five-year prison sentence at DVI for second-degree robbery from Los Angeles County. He was due for parole in June 2015.
Paul said due to his escape, Lopez will complete the remainder of his sentence within the prison walls and face in-house disciplinary action, though Paul did not disclose its nature.
He said it will be up to the district attorney’s office if additional felony escape charges will be filed against Lopez.