SAN GABRIEL — A participant in the Alternative Custody Program (ACP) who walked away from a residential home in El Monte April 7 has been apprehended.

Benedict Romero, 39, was apprehended at 12:55 p.m. today on an athletic field at San Gabriel High School. Romero was arrested and will be returned to the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

Agents from the CDCR Office of Correctional Safety (OCS) were following up on an investigative lead when they spotted Romero. OCS Agents attempted to contact Romero, but he fled and was last seen entering the grounds of San Gabriel High School.

OCS agents, the Alhambra Police Department and San Gabriel Police Department set up a perimeter and notified officials at San Gabriel High School and nearby Martha Baldwin Elementary School. The schools were placed on lockdown while officers conducted a search of the area. During the search, Romero was located hiding on an athletic field on the northern portion of the campus. He had no contact with faculty or students prior to his arrest. The lockdowns were lifted at 1 p.m.

Romero was discovered missing at 9:34 a.m. April 7 after he tampered with his ankle monitor. He had been participating in ACP in El Monte since January.

ACP is a voluntary program developed for eligible offenders that allows them to serve up to the last 12 months of their sentence in the community in lieu of confinement in state prison. Eligible participants may be housed in a private residence, transitional care facility or residential drug or other treatment program.

Romero was received by CDCR in May 2016 from Los Angeles County with a two-year, eight-month sentence for vehicle theft. He was expected to parole in December.

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

CONTACT: KRISSI KHOKHOBASHVILI
(916) 445-4950