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Burglary Suspect Briefly Escapes Police Custody

POSTED July 31, 2012 10:30 p.m.

A local parolee, arrested for a residential burglary, escaped police custody Wednesday morning, July 25, and was later apprehended after an hour-long search where he was found hiding near the neighborhood of the Oakdale Police Station.

Joshua Wayne Wiggins, 23, was identified by an Oakdale Police investigation as the suspect from a late-night July 24 residential burglary in the 400 block of West G Street.

The following morning police units were called to the area of West H Street regarding a subject going through recycling bins. Based on the description of the subject, police units detained Wiggins one block away on Yosemite Avenue and later arrested him.

While transporting Wiggins to the police station for processing, Wiggins slipped out of the handcuffs and fled from the police vehicle when he was being let out of the car.

More than six officers of the department set up a perimeter surrounding the area where Wiggins was last seen as other officers went yard-to-yard searching for him.

According to Oakdale Police Detective Brian Shimmel, as police personnel were discussing their next move, they received a call from a resident in the 300 block of North Second Avenue of a “strange man” in the back yard.

Police units focused their dragnet to that area and found Wiggins in the garage of 318 N. Second, where he was taken into custody without incident.

“He was hunkered down buried under debris,” said Shimmel. “He said the only reason he broke from his first hiding place is he thought he heard us calling for a canine unit and knew he would have been found.”

The Oakdale Police Department discontinued its own canine program in 2008 due to budget cuts. Currently, Oakdale Police units have to wait for an available canine from an outside law enforcement agency to respond.

Wiggins was booked at Stanislaus County Jail for burglary, possession of stolen property, obstructing an officer, and violation of parole.

Shimmel said Wiggins was the suspect of a December 2011 burglary where he was sentenced to three years in prison.

Shimmel did not know when Wiggins had been released but said he was on parole.

Stanislaus County court records show seven separate arrests for Wiggins dating back to 2009, indicating he has been arrested on burglary and theft related charges.

Shimmel said he will be looking at Wiggins for possible involvement in other residential burglaries in the area.

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