Inmate arrested after failing to return to halfway house

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Steven Vargas (Credit: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

SAN DIEGO — An inmate convicted of vehicle theft and grand theft with a firearm who did not return from an authorized outing from the Barrio Logan halfway house where he is completing his sentence was arrested Wednesday near Pechanga Arena.

Steven Vargas, 53, was taken into custody without incident in a parking lot and taken to the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, according to Terri Hardy, an information officer with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The time and location of Vargas’ arrest were not disclosed.

“Vargas was given permission to leave the facility on Tuesday morning, but did not return when he was required,” Hardy said.

Shortly before noon Tuesday, after being were notified that Vargas’ electronic monitoring device had been disabled, CDCR officials notified local law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for him.

Vargas was transferred from the California Institution for Men in Chino to the San Diego Male Community Reentry Program facility on Boston Avenue two weeks ago to complete a four-year sentence. He was scheduled to be released on parole in June, Hardy said.

Since 1977, 99% of all offenders who have left an adult institution, camp or community-based program without permission have been apprehended, Hardy said.

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