Orange County Sheriff’s deputies this morning apprehended an escaped Theo Lacy jail inmate at a motel in Oceanside.
Following a tip, deputies at 5:30 a.m. found Saith Na at the motel.
Na, 26, was missing during a routine jail inmate count about 10:30 a.m. Friday, said Gail Krause, an Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman. The jail was immediately put on lockdown. The Sheriff’s department is not releasing how it believes Na was able to escape because of an ongoing investigation.
“”People have friends and family in custody, we don’t want information to get back to them about a weak point in the jail,” said Lt. Joe Balicki.
The department’s investigations team is also looking into whether someone helped Na escape and how he made it to Oceanside.
Although Theo Lacy is a maximum-security jail, Na was considered a “minimum-security inmate” and was housed with other inmates of that level.
Orange County Superior Court records show a man with the same name as Na pleaded guilty to felony burglary and grand-theft charges in 2009, felony drug possession charges in 2011 and felony car theft in 2005 and 2012.
The only inmate to have escaped from Theo Lacy before Na was a 39-year-old Newport Beach man assigned to work in the jail’s kitchen in January 2012. That inmate was captured within 24 hours and his escape was the first at the jail in 20 years.
By DANIEL LANGHORNE/ ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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