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Burglary briefly escapes custody

1/5/2010 - Burglary briefly escapes custody

A burglary suspect, arrested Tuesday morning after he was spotted jumping over fences into residential yards, briefly escaped custody later but was quickly apprehended.

Police received a residential burglary alarm shortly after 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5, in the 10 block of West Highland Avenue. At about the same time, an off-duty Redlands Police officer heard the alarm and spotted the suspect as he ran through the neighborhood and jumped over a fence.

As police received 911 calls from neighbors reporting the suspect running through back yards and jumping fences they set up a perimeter.

An observer in Air 10, the Police Department’s Cessna 172, spotted the suspect as he jumped a fence and ran into a shed. The observer directed officers to the suspect and he was taken into custody without further incident.

Police Commander Tom Fitzmaurice credited the air support unit for locating the suspect and directing officers to him.

Later Tuesday afternoon, as the suspect was being booked at the Redlands Police Annex, he slipped out of his leg shackles, forced his way past a custody officer and ran out of the building.

As officers pursued the handcuffed suspect he ducked into a commercial retail building across the street. Police set up a perimeter with the help of the Sheriff’s Department Air Support helicopter.

The suspect was located after about 20 minutes hiding in a kitchen and was taken into custody without further incident.

Redlands Police Chief Jim Bueermann said the escape was the unfortunate result of the department’s lack of a secure lockup facility since Safety Hall was closed more than a year ago because of structural deficiencies. Since then, prisoners are often chained to a bench in the booking area of the downtown Police Annex until they are transported to the county jail or cited and released.

“This was not a result of any negligence by police personnel,” said Bueermann. “The suspect was shackled and cuffed while he was being booked, but without a jail this is the unfortunate result.”

Last year the City Council approved construction of a temporary lockup facility at the Redlands City Yards on Park Avenue. Construction of that facility has been delayed but is nearing completion.

The suspect, 21-year-old Kevin Lamont Holmes, of San Bernardino, will be charged with residential burglary, escape and parole violations.



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