Ariz. inmate escapes in laundry cart; caught in N.M.

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Jairo Contreras By Jennifer Thomas Jairo Contreras By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A man who left undetected from an inmate work crew in the Valley has been caught in New Mexico.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said Jairo Contreras, 20, was found Thursday in Santa Fe. He will be extradited back to the Valley to face additional charges.

Contreras was in a minimum-security jail in Phoenix for minor burglary charges and was about to be released on work furlough, according to the sheriff's office.

He left a jail work crew in an oversized laundry cart several days ago.

Contreras was located after sheriff's detectives traced his girlfriend's cell phone to an address in Santa Fe. U.S. marshals in Albuquerque took him into custody after a brief car chase.