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Officials capture Twin Towers jail escapee near youth center

A fugitive inmate who walked out of downtown Los Angeles' Twin Towers Correctional Facility three weeks ago was captured Wednesday night near a youth and family center in Santa Monica, authorities said.

Christopher Lee Brown, 37, was arrested "without incident" by Santa Monica police after a witness reported seeing a man who fit the escapee's description outside the Pico Youth and Family Center near Pico and Lincoln boulevards, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Quiana Birckbeck said.

Authorities said sheriff's detectives working in the area transported Brown back to the Twin Towers jail.

Officials said that Brown, posing as another inmate, had walked out of the jail's inmate reception center around 10 p.m. on March 12.

He had been sentenced earlier that day to four years and eight months in jail for stealing computer equipment from an Alhambra medical center, compromising the personal information of an estimated 729,000 patients.

Jail officials did not discover Brown was missing until later that night, when a count "revealed the inmate was not where he was supposed to be," Sheriff's Cmdr. Mike Parker said in a statement issued last month. Surveillance video showed Brown leaving through the release area.

Parker blamed the escape on a lapse in security, saying it "appears that mandated security practices may not have been followed." He said the “identified security concerns were immediately remedied."

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last month issued a $20,000 reward for information leading to Brown's arrest.

He is being held without bail and now faces a new charge of escape, Birckbeck said.

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richard.duchon@latimes.com

Twitter: @Richie_Duchon

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