Authorities searching for inmate Shalom Mendoza after San Quentin State Prison escape

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (KGO) -- A manhunt is underway after an inmate walked away from San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin officials say.

According to authorities, the inmate, Shalom Mendoza, walked away from the outgrounds support facility at San Quentin State Prison. At 9:35 p.m. Wednesday, Mendoza was reported missing during an institutional count. A subsequent search confirmed that the inmate was missing.

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Authorities say he carjacked someone at the Home Depot in San Rafael and got away in a Toyota RAV4, California license plate number 6STZ502. The Home Depot is about one mile from the prison.

"An Hispanic male approached a female and simulated what looked like a weapon or a gun through his t-shirt and demanded the keys from her. He threatened to kill her, told her not to call police or he would shoot her and then once she handed over the keys he fled the scene in her vehicle," said Sgt. Justin Graham of the San Rafael Police Dept.

Mendoza is 21-years-old with short brown hair and brown eyes. He is 5'5" tall and weighs 177 pounds.

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Police don't know for sure that Mendoza stole the car but the suspect description, timing and location make it seem likely. San Rafael police canvassed the area on Shoreline Parkway looking for surveillance video to confirm whether it was him.

Sgt. Graham said prison officials found Medoza's jumpsuit. Authorities believe he was wearing a T-shirt and shorts when he escaped. The victim of the carjacking said the man who stole her car was wearing a white t-shirt and tan shorts.

Prison officials did not explain how he escaped.

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Mendoza was incarcerated from Los Angeles County on Dec. 20, 2017 and is serving a five-year sentence for use of deadly weapon during carjack/attempted carjacking and evading or attempting to evade a police officer while driving recklessly.

Mendoza arrived at the prison on April 28, 2018.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Mendoza is asked to contact Lt. Samuel Robinson at (415) 455-5000 or their local law enforcement agency.

Stay with ABC7 News for the latest details on this developing story.

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