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Escaped San Quentin inmate recaptured 200 miles away

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A San Quentin inmate who walked away from the prison on Wednesday and carjacked his way to the Central Coast was arrested after he was spotted a fast-food restaurant Saturday afternoon, prison officials said.

Shalom Mendoza, 21, was taken into custody about 12:30 p.m. at a Taco Bell in Paso Robles, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Someone saw Mendoza at the restaurant and called authorities. The escapee was the subject of a manhunt, and his photo had been posted on several websites.

Mendoza had been assigned to work outside the secured perimeter at San Quentin and apparently walked away from the facility around 9:35 p.m. Wednesday. He was discovered missing during an institutional check, prison officials said.

Mendoza then carjacked a woman at a Home Depot parking lot in San Rafael and fled in a Toyota RAV4, police said.

Mendoza had been spotted Friday in San Miguel after he apparently ditched the carjacked getaway vehicle along Highway 101, just north of Paso Robles, Lt. Samuel Robinson said. He was seen at a Dollar Store in San Miguel, where he purchased dark clothing to replace his prison garb.

Mendoza was sentenced to five years in prison for using a deadly weapon during a carjacking/attempted carjacking and evading or attempting to evade peace officers while driving recklessly in Los Angeles County in December 2017. He arrived at San Quentin on April 28.

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