Escaped Palo Alto inmate found hiding in attic

Second inmate arrested Wednesday evening

Two inmates who escaped from the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose last week have now been arrested. One of them, a Palo Alto man, was found Tuesday night when he fell through the attic of his sister's Antioch home where he was hiding while deputies conducted a search, Santa Clara County sheriff's officials said.

Palo Alto resident Laron Campbell, 26, was recaptured around 10 p.m. Tuesday when deputies searched the home of his sister, Marcaysha Alexander, 24, who was arrested on suspicion of harboring a fugitive, Santa Clara County Undersheriff Carl Neusel said at a news conference Wednesday morning at sheriff's headquarters in San Jose.

The second inmate, Rogelio Chavez, 33, of San Jose, who escaped with Campbell on the night of Nov. 23 from Main Jail South, was arrested on Wednesday evening after sheriff's deputies spent hours surrounding a San Jose neighborhood in the afternoon.

On Monday, detectives were tipped off that Campbell was in Antioch and determined he was staying with his sister in the 1000 block of James Donlon Avenue, Neusel said.

They notified the U.S. Marshals Service, which conducted surveillance of the residence for several hours and verified Campbell was there, according to Neusel.

At around 10 p.m., they served a warrant with Antioch police at the home, where Campbell was hiding in the attic and fell down from the ceiling to the ground and was taken into custody without further incident, according to Neusel.

Campbell was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose without bail and Alexander was taken to the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas, where she remains in lieu of $250,000 bail, according to online jail records.

Campbell and Chavez escaped from the Main Jail South facility near West Hedding and North San Pedro streets around 11 p.m. Nov. 23 by cutting through bars to a second-floor window, sheriff's Sgt. Richard Glennon said.

The two inmates lowered themselves to the ground with bed sheets and clothes. Two other inmates escaped with Chavez and Campbell, but were quickly apprehended.

Investigators didn't find cutting instruments in the cell or nearby, but found surveillance footage showing the pair outside the perimeter established by deputies, Glennon said.

Campbell was booked into the jail on Feb. 12, 2015 for robbery, false imprisonment, criminal threats and firearms violations, according to Glennon.

Detectives have received a steady stream of tips since Sheriff Laurie Smith announced a $20,000 reward last week for information leading to the capture of both inmates, sheriff's officials said.

It's not clear how the money will be divided up for who gave the tip that resulted in Campbell's arrest, Neusel said.

The tips surrounding Chavez's whereabouts led detectives to a Days Inn at 8292 Murray Ave. in Gilroy on Monday, Nov. 28, and Inman Way in San Jose on Tuesday, Nov. 29, sheriff's Sgt. Richard Glennon said.

As a result of the investigation in Gilroy, Emily Vaca, 35, of San Jose, was arrested for allegedly driving Chavez around the county, Glennon said.

Vaca was scheduled for arraignment this afternoon at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill.

Chavez was booked into jail on Aug. 17 for burglary, extortion, false imprisonment, resisting arrest and firearms violations, Glennon said.


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