Thu. Nov 30th, 2023

An inmate in custody for allegedly stealing money from an armored vehicle Saturday escaped the John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio but was apprehended less than five hours later.

Angel Felipe Aleman, 35, of Desert Hot Springs escaped the jail at 46057 Oasis St. about 3:35 p.m. and was seen about five minutes later at a nearby trailer park, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.

Media reports indicated that police were cautioning Indio residents to stay in their homes as a result.

Aleman was wearing an orange jail jumpsuit at the time of his escape, sheriff’s officials said.

At 8:23 p.m. sheriff’s officials reported he was located and was back in custody, but provided no further details or explanations.

Earlier on Saturday, about 1:40 p.m., Aleman allegedly stole a bank deposit bag containing $140,000 from an armored vehicle parked at a McDonald’s at 81544 Highway 111, according to the Indio Police Department.

He fled but was later tracked down by officers, who found him outside an Indio home, where he was doing yard work. However, officers did not find the bank deposit bag there.

After searching the route between the McDonald’s and the home, investigators found the bag under a box in shallow hole dug in a dirt lot, police said.

Aleman was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of grand theft. Police said he was behind bars without bail. It was not immediately clear how Aleman escaped custody and eluded police for nearly five hours.


By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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