A California prisoner serving a sentence for carjacking escaped San Quentin State Prison Wednesday evening and reportedly carjacked a person in order to flee authorities.
At about 9:35 p.m., prison guards discovered Shalom Mendoza, 21, was missing during an inmate count. Prison officials immediately conducted a search of the surrounding area and notified local law enforcement agencies.
Mendoza is believed to have carjacked a victim near the prison after escaping, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Authorities are now searching for a Toyota RAV4 with the California license plate number 6STZ502.
Prison officials describe Mendoza as a Hispanic man with short brown hair and brown eyes. The fugitive is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 177 pounds.
In Dec. 20, 2017, Mendoza was incarcerated in San Quentin. He was serving a five-year sentence for a Los Angeles County conviction of use of a deadly weapon during a carjacking or attempted carjacking, as well as evading or attempting to evade a peace officer while driving recklessly.
San Quentin State Prison is California’s oldest prison, having opened in 1852. It houses more than 4,200 inmates, as well as the largest death row in the United States.
Since 1977, 99 percent of all inmates who have escaped a state institution, camp or community-based program have been apprehended, according to the CDCR.