2 jail escapees are captured in Castaic [Updated]
Authorities have captured two armed-robbery suspects who escaped early Wednesday from the Castaic jail where they were being held during trial.
Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said Winder Barrios and Jose Aldana were taken into custody without incident in Castaic shortly after 5 p.m. The men had apparently been trying to get people to give them clothes, he said.
Residents aware of the escape alerted deputies, who went to Hasley Canyon Road and arrested the escapees, Whitmore said. The men were found to be missing during a 3:15 a.m. head count at the North County Correctional Facility, just hours before they were due in court.
The men had been working at a kitchen loading dock and may have escaped shortly after 1 a.m., Whitmore said. Sheriff’s deputies believe the men, both 24 and from Van Nuys, may have planned their escape because they were facing severe jail time.
[Updated 9:55 p.m.: A spokesman for Supervisor Mike Antonovich said Wednesday night that the two escapees were illegal immigrants. The spokesman, Tony Bell, said the supervisor would be calling for an investigation into the circumstances of the escape, including what role the federal government may have played in checking the men's immigration status.]
The pair disappeared the day after three witnesses identified them in court as culprits in a string of robberies, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. An accomplice pleaded guilty in the case.
“We think we have a strong case,” Robison said. On March 27, the men allegedly broke into an Encino home, tied up the housekeeper at gunpoint and began helping themselves to computers and television sets.
-- Richard Winton