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Escaped Inmate Found Laying Low At A Hotel Spa In Koreatown

Inmate Kent Lesporavsky who was found hiding in a Koreatown spa (Photo courtesy of the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner)
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An escaped inmate was found hiding out at a spa in Koreatown after walking away from a work program clearing weeds 75 miles away. The inmate, Kent Lesporavsky, 43, never got the chance to hit the steam room or jimjilbang before being taken back into custody by authorities at a spa on Wilshire Blvd., reports NBC LA. Prior to his escape and apprehension at the spa, Lesporavsky was serving eight years and eight months at Fenner Canyon Conservation Camp #41 in Valyermo for transporting marijuana. He also has a history of drug use, theft and assault on police, according to authorities.

On November 4, the 6-foot-tall, 220 pound Russian inmate was clearing weeds near a flood control channel as part of a fire crew in Highland when he walked away, according to prison officials. And while a helicopter, police dogs and officers from multiple agencies searched the surrounding area, they were unable to find him, reports the L.A. Times. Officials believe somebody may have picked him up and given him a lift out of the area.

Authorities were tracking Lesporavsky's movements for nearly a week, and on Tuesday at 1:30 a.m., they tracked him to Koreatown, Sgt. Gabriel Romo told the Times. But they were just about to call off the search when they intercepted a call from Lesporavsky—who was asking someone for money—and by 1:45 a.m. they found him at the spa and arrested him. While he had ditched his orange jumpsuit from the California Department of Corrections, he wasn't wearing a white towel in the sauna, just a hooded sweatshirt and white pants. He was taken into custody without incident.

"It was difficult to find him because he didn't know a lot of people in Southern California," Sgt. Romo told the Times, explaining that Lesporavsky only has a few relatives in the U.S. and California.

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Lesporavsky's release date had been set for Aug. 7, 2018, but now that he's facing new charges for the escape, that date might be postponed.

He also won't be clearing any more weeds—or likely taking any more spa days—"He ruined that opportunity," Romo told the Times.