LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Deputies continued their search for an inmate who walked out of L.A.’s Mens Central Jail in plain view.

Christopher Lee Brown, 37, was arrested last year by Alhambra police for felony burglary.

During a nightly inmate count Wednesday, deputies noticed Brown was not in his assigned location, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

The jail, which is equipped with about 1,800 cameras, was placed on lockdown and a search was conducted.

CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen reports security cameras show Brown walking out the door dressed in street clothes, having managed to change out of his jail uniform and ditch his barcoded wristband, often used for inmate headcounts.

The sheriff’s department confirmed Thursday there were multiple breakdowns in the system.

“If for example a barcode scanner wasn’t working or maybe he was in a line at the clinic and hadn’t been updated yet, then that could explain why he wasn’t in a housing environment, for example,”  Capt. Mike Parker said, adding that Brown gave jail officials the name of a fellow inmate due for release.

“He got to the release area and then he said that he was another inmate who was due for release. And so he impersonated that person, he had torn off his wrist ban, and so ultimately the process was followed but it appears that the process wasn’t followed fully,” Parker explained.

Investigators say the man Brown was impersonating has been accounted for.

“It appears that there were mistakes made by jail staff – who are human beings and they make mistakes too. And at the same time, we need to look at all aspects of this and not pass judgment,” Parker said.

Brown was sentenced to four years Wednesday in a burglary and identity theft case out of Alhambra. He has also been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and spousal abuse in separate cases.

Brown is described as a black man, 6 feet 3 inches tall and 200 pounds.

Investigators say if you do see Brown, call police and do not approach him.


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