Escaped Inmate Found in Port-A-Potty

Cesar Sanchez was being transported from a court hearing to a state prison facility when he jumped from a moving van, authorities say

Saturday, Dec 3, 2011  |  Updated 4:05 PM CDT
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Escaped Inmate Found in Port-A-Potty

Todd Sherman

Authorities tackle and arrest Cesar Sanchez after he was found inside a portable bathroom.

An inmate was back in police custody Friday evening, about six hours after jumping from a moving transport van near southwest suburban Lockport.

Cesar Sanchez was tracked to a Waste Management facility in Rockdale that had a few hundred portable toilet units.

"As you can imagine, looking through 300 port-a-potties was going to be quite a job," Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas said

Using dogs and infared equipment from a helicopter, Kaupas said Sanchez was found hiding inside one of the units at about 8:15 p.m.

The Illinois Dept. of Corrections said Sanchez, who was being held in the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill on burglary and drug charges, was en route to the prison from a court hearing in Bridgeview when he escaped in the Lockport area about 2:15 p.m.

IDOC spokeswoman Sharyn Elman said Sanchez was able to jump out of the vehicle while the van was near Farrell Road and 159th Street. Police radio alerts indicated Sanchez injured his leg in the jump, but was able to limp away.

Will County Sheriff's Office spokesman Ken Kaupas -- the sheriff's cousin -- said Sanchez  hitched a ride on a delivery truck to Rockdale, an area just southwest of Joliet near I-80 and Larkin Avenue.

An employee of an area business said a man matching Sanchez' description was seen climing off a delivery truck, and a review of surveillance video later confirmed it was Sanchez, Kaupas said.

Sanchez, who was handcuffed at the time of his escape, was wearing a yellow prison jumpsuit and wasn't believed to be armed, Elman said. The sheriff’s office said he was wearing an IDOC-issued tan shirt and pants when he got away from the two prison guards.

DOC records show Sanchez is serving a seven-year sentence that began in 2006 for burglaries in Cook and Kane counties. He has previously been convicted of burglary, shoplifting, robbery, aggravated battery, motor vehicle theft and unlawful use of a credit card.

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