3 of 4 Teens Caught After Escape From Byron Boys Ranch

BYRON, Contra Costa County (CBS SF) — Three of four boys who walked away from an unlocked youth detention facility in Byron on Monday night were arrested in Antioch Tuesday afternoon, Contra Costa County sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said.

Antioch police arrested the three boys—two 14-year-olds and a 15-year-old—at a Walmart store at about noon, Lee said.

The fourth boy, a 15-year-old, is still outstanding, Lee said.

One of the boys left the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility, also known as the Byron Boys Ranch, located at 4491 Bixler Road in Byron, at about 8:20 p.m., Chief Deputy Probation Officer Paula Hernandez said.

Three other boys left about 20 minutes later, Hernandez said.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

The facility, which is designed to rehabilitate low-level delinquent youths, is not locked or fenced, Hernandez said. It is in a remote part of unincorporated eastern Contra Costa County surrounded by fields.

Boys who are sent to the facility have generally committed nonviolent, misdemeanor crimes and are committed to the ranch as a way to keep them out of the criminal justice system and give them a chance to be rehabilitated, Hernandez said.

On Monday night, the sheriff’s office sent out a precautionary emergency notification telling residents in Byron and Discovery Bay that the four teens had escaped and advising them to stay inside while deputies searched for them, Lee said.

The notification stated that one of the boys was believed to be dangerous, but Lee said Tuesday he doesn’t believe residents were in danger.

The sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information about the whereabouts of the remaining boy to call dispatch at (925) 646-2441.

The probation department will likely not recommend that they return to the boys’ ranch, Hernandez said.

“Their futures will be in the hands of the juvenile court system,” Hernandez said.

Walk-aways at the boys’ ranch have become less frequent in recent months, Hernandez said. The last boy to walk away left about six months ago, and before that, staff members celebrated an entire year without a single walk-away, she said.

The sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information about the fourth boy’s whereabouts to call dispatch at (925) 646-2441.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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