A 47-year-old man awaiting trial on vehicle theft charges was captured by San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies on the 900 block of South Airport Road Sunday morning after fleeing from the county honor farm.
Samuel Edward Clarke was arrested at 11:15 a.m. and charged with escape while felony charges are pending. He had two separate cases working through the system at the time – the first involving petty theft and providing false identification to a police officer and the second for knowingly purchasing a stolen vehicle while being a convicted felon – and the fleeing charge prompted the judge to take the $210,000 bail amount off the table.
He was discovered missing shortly after 10 p.m. on Friday during a routine count, but was accounted for at 6 p.m.
Clarke is set to appear in Division 1 of the Manteca branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court today at 1:30 p.m.
The Sherriff’s Office experienced a string of escapes and escape attempts earlier this year when three inmates managed to slip away from the facility over a two-week period. An elaborate, Hollywood-style escape attempt was foiled before that when two men managed to switch clothes during a court appearance – altering their security levels and giving the man facing more serious charges the opportunity to scale and fence and take off into a field near the rural jail at the end of Matthews Road in French Camp.
He was apprehended by police canines.
The matter became a political issue during the primary campaign for the position of Sherriff.