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Man arrested in jail togs a day after release, authorities say

August 30, 2012 |  2:35 pm

Marcus GarciaA Los Angeles County jail inmate who allegedly stole a pair of jail pants during his release found himself back behind bars a day later when two off-duty law enforcement officers saw him wearing them, authorities said. 

Marcus Garcia, 22, of Saugus was running through a Wal-Mart parking lot in the 25400 block of The Old Road in Stevenson Ranch on Tuesday when an off-duty L.A. County sheriff’s deputy and an off-duty L.A. County custody assistant, who were not named, noticed him and called 911, according to the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s station. The officials recognized the blue pants -- the lower half of an inmate's jumpsuit -- and feared Garcia might have escaped from nearby Pitchess Detention Center.

As more deputies arrived at the scene, Garcia ran toward an apartment building, authorities said. Fearing Garcia might escape, the off-duty deputy identified himself and detained Garcia at gunpoint until uniformed deputies arrived, authorities said. The suspect was taken into custody without incident.

Pitchess Detention Center was placed on temporary lockdown until officials verified that Garcia had not escaped, authorities said. 

It turned out that Garcia had been released Monday from the L.A. County jail, where he had been serving a 180-day sentence for felony petty theft with prior convictions, authorities said. 

Garcia was booked on a charge of possession of stolen property -- the jail pants -- and his bail was set at $20,000, authorities said.


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-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita

Photo: Marcus Garcia. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department