California authorities were on a manhunt Thursday for an inmate who walked away from San Quentin State Prison and is believed to have carjacked a vehicle overnight, the AP reports. Shalom Mendoza, 21, was last seen at the prison before 6pm Wednesday and reported missing after 9:30pm Wednesday. He fled from a work assignment outside the prison walls, spokesman Sgt. Robert Gardea said. Mendoza is believed to have carjacked a victim in a Home Depot parking lot less than a mile from the prison after 9pm, fleeing in a silver Toyota RAV4 with California license plate number 6STZ502, San Rafael police said.
They said a man with a similar physical description to Mendoza, last seen wearing a white T-shirt and khaki or light-yellow pants, motioned to the victim as if he had a weapon or gun under his shirt. He then threatened to kill her and demanded her car keys, but she was not injured. Mendoza was sentenced to prison a year ago to serve a five-year term for using a deadly weapon during a Los Angeles County carjacking and evading or attempting to evade police while driving recklessly. He arrived at San Quentin in April and was assigned to a minimum-security inmate work crew in May, Gardea said. Mendoza lived in a dormitory behind a security fence, but he was with a work crew outside the prison fence when he walked away, he said. (Serial killer kills himself at San Quentin.)