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2 Escapees Caught at Anaheim Garage After Daylong Hunt

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two inmates who escaped from an Orange County Sheriff’s Department bus while on the way to court were found hiding in a room over a garage in Anaheim on Saturday evening after a massive one-day manhunt.

The two escapees, who were in jail on a number of auto theft and robbery charges, were arrested by members of the Sheriff’s Gang Enforcement Team and Orange County Probation Department.

Eric Quoc Vu, 19, and Chancole Eddie Rajapasith, 20, were captured without incident about 6 p.m., according to a Sheriff’s Department statement.

On Friday morning, the two men had been handcuffed together and put on a bus at the Orange County Jail for the half-mile ride to Orange County Superior Court, where the inmates had hearings scheduled.

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At least two officers were guarding the inmates during the bus ride, and the vehicle’s windows were covered. How the two men managed to escape is still unclear, but when the bus arrived at court, Vu and Rajapasith were missing.

After the escape, all of the Sheriff’s Department special units and investigators worked around the clock, painstakingly following a variety of leads that led to the capture, Lt. Hector Rivera said.

Sheriff’s officials would not say Saturday what information led to the capture of Vu and Rajapasith.

Sheriff’s officials also did not say whether they had discovered how the men managed to escape from custody.

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Investigators on Friday discovered two discarded jail jumpsuits in an alley near where a 1987 Buick was reported stolen about the same time as the escape.

The stolen burgundy Buick may have been used as a getaway car by the two, officials said.

Also, the jumpsuits bore grease stains, but it was unclear whether those stains were related to the escape.

At least 16 inmates have escaped from authorities in Orange County in the last three years. Most of them fled the minimum-security James A. Musick Branch Jail in Irvine and were quickly caught.

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