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Lompoc resident voices concern about escaped inmates

Just a few miles down the road from the Lompoc Federal Prison sits a neighborhood where Jim Stegall lives.

“I have no problems living next to the prison until the first prisoner decided to walk away,” he says.

Within the last few months, prison officials say two inmates have escaped. Vicente Ramirez Jr. escaped back in September and Hector Medina escaped this past Friday. Both of them escaped from the prison’s minimum security.

“We didn’t get any phone call or reverse 911 we were told through media like your station,” says Stegall.

Stegall says he only came to learn about the inmates missing days after they escaped.

“It’s a real nice place to raise children, its quiet, and it’s ridiculous that no one would inform us that a prisoner would leave,” he says.

He says he’s surprised that people who live so close to the prison weren’t immediately notified and wishes there was a better communication system to help keep neighbors aware of what is going on.

“No one had heard about it and I was enraged and I am hoping this will help prison officials find a way to notify neighbors,” he says.

Pictures of both inmates have not been released from the prison. Right now, all that neighbors have to go by are descriptions of what the two men look like.

Stegall says as he waits for prison officials to give out more information, he’s hoping they will consider changing their politices of when and how they let people know that someone has escaped.

“There’s no much more we can do and hopefully get notice that a prisoner has decided to go on a little walk from their prison,” he says.

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