Released prisoner given another Grant County inmate’s car keys—are staffing issued to blame?

Grant County
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EPHRATA, Wash. — An internal investigation is underway at the Grant County Jail after an inmate was given the key fob to another prisoner’s vehicle while being released.

According to a social media notice from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred on May 28, 2022. Staffers at the county jail provided a key fob that belonged to another inmate during the release process to the surprise of the newly-released individual.

Once out of the complex, this individual located the vehicle matched with the key fob and stole the vehicle. Though this individual was located and re-booked into the jail shortly after, it’s leaving Sheriff Tom Jones with a serious issue to consider.

“This clearly was a serious administrative accident, and we are taking immediate action to review policies and practices and implement new actions to ensure that it does not happen again,” Sheriff Jones said.

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There is a widescale review process underway as a result of this incident. Early indications suggest that the keys were mistakenly stored with the belongings of the suspect who was released and subsequently arrested. That individual has since been identified as Eduardo Solares Rivera.

Ephrata police officers spotted the vehicle shortly after Grant County officials realized what happened. He was promptly booked back into the jail for theft of a motor vehicle, first-degree theft, and possession of stolen property.

The Sheriff’s Office is considering how much of a factor staffing issues at the Grant County Jail may have impacted this mishap.

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