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Fugitive from downtown L.A. jail captured in Santa Monica

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, Deputy Quiana Birckbeck of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

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

Officials said Brown escaped by posing as another inmate and walking out of the jail's inmate reception center March 12 about 10 p.m.

He had been sentenced 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.

Sheriff's Cmdr. Mike Parker blamed the escape on a security lapse, saying at the time that it appeared that "mandated security practices may not have been followed." Those security concerns were "immediately remedied," he said.

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," Parker said at the time. Surveillance video showed Brown — described as being 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds — leaving through the release area.

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

He was being held without bail and now faces a new charge of escape, Birckbeck said.
Twitter: @Richie_Duchon

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