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Roosevelt County Jail looks to boost security after three inmates escape

The Roosevelt County Jail in Portales, is looking to boost security after three inmates escaped Friday night, making this the second time in three months.

"The detention staff was performing a routine formal head count when they identified three individual not to be present," said Detention Administrator David Casanova.

Using a metal piece of a bed frame, Abran Baeza, Noel Webb and Robert Claudio punched a hole in the ceiling near an air conditioner vent before escaping through the roof, the same way it was done in June when 2 inmates also escaped.

Noel Webb, one of the inmates who escaped, but was later captured, told us he had little to lose, which was part of the reason why he wanted to break out. "There was a lot of adrenaline. There was fear because I didn't want to come back, I didn't want to get arrested, I didn't want to get caught," Webb said.

Casanova, the Detention Administrator, says he's been talking to County Commissioners since August, after the first escape, asking for security changes to be made to the facility. "We also have requested from the commissioners that a security perimeter be installed which consists of a 12 foot chain link fence, razor ribbon and a four foot no climb mesh at the top of that fence," he told us.

County Commissioners and the County Manager say money seems to be the biggest thing preventing the changes from happening. "It would have to come out of our general funds reserves," said County Manager Charlene Webb. "It's not something that we have in the budget currently, we would have to adjust for that to increase the budget to complete the project."

Shortly after escaping, Webb and Baeza were caught in a near by neighborhood. They remain in custody at the detention center. "It was stupid of me but at the same time that is was all happening, it felt like the right thing to do," Baeza said, after being caught.

The facility remains on lock down as officials look for Claudio, who still remains at large.

Colleen Nelson - NewsChannel 10

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