Hemet Parolee Tries to Escape Holding Cell After Arrest for Purse Snatching: Police

A parolee from Hemet is back behind bars after he stole a purse from a woman, then tried to escape from jail after being arrested for the theft on Friday, authorities said.

Jesus Galvan Mata, 32, of Hemet, pictured in a photo released by the Hemet Police Department following his arrest on Dec. 21, 2018.

Jesus Galvan Mata, 32, of Hemet, pictured in a photo released by the Hemet Police Department following his arrest on Dec. 21, 2018.

Jesus Galvan Mata, also known as Jesus Mata Vargas, 32, is accused of escape, grand theft from a person, resisting arrest with violence, resisting or obstructing police and violating his parole, Hemet Police Department Lt. Nate Miller said in a written statement.

Officers responded to a report of a purse theft about 12:45 p.m. at a Lowe’s store at 350 South Sanderson Avenue, he said. They learned he had allegedly grabbed a purse from a 58-year-old woman and fled the area in a car.

A witness was able to take down the car’s license plate number, Miller said. Officers soon learned the vehicle was registered to a home in Hemet, where Mata lives.

Police found Mata hiding in a closet, according to Miller. The woman’s purse was recovered at the home, along with other evidence linking Mata to the theft.

After being taken to jail, police said Mata got into a fight with another inmate about 8 p.m.

“While being moved to another cell to separate the two men, Mata attempted to run away,” Miller said. “Mata did not get away from the facility and was immediately captured.”

He has since been transferred to the Riverside County Jail, officials added.

He was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Wednesday, according to Riverside county booking records.

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