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Inmate walks away from San Diego rehabilitation facility

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 20:14:00-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Authorities are looking for an inmate who walked away from a San Diego rehabilitation facility.

Steven Vargas, 53, was last seen at 10 a.m. Tuesday after leaving the San Diego's Male Community Reentry Program, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Vargas had been given permission to leave the facility but didn't return when required.

The facility allows eligible offenders with one year left to serve to do so in re-entry centers, providing them with rehabilitation services that assist them with substance use disorders, mental health care, employment, education, housing, and more.

Officials said they were alerted that Vargas' electronic monitoring device had been tampered with just before noon Tuesday.

Vargas was sentenced to four years in prison on May 6, 2019 for vehicle theft with prior vehicle related theft convictions and grand theft of a firearm. He was scheduled to be released on parole in June.

Vargas is described as a Hispanic male, 6-feet tall, and weighs about 192 pounds. He was last seen wearing faded black jeans, black shoes, a blue shirt, and a charcoal grey sweater. He also has a long gray and white goatee.

Anyone with information on Vargas' whereabouts is asked to call 911 immediately.