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Man freed from California jail under COVID-19 order accused of carjacking about 40 minutes after his release
Image source: Alameda County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office

Man freed from California jail under COVID-19 order accused of carjacking about 40 minutes after his release

Another man was charged with setting nine fires less than a week after his release from a California jail

An inmate freed from a California jail because of the coronavirus outbreak is accused of a carjacking that took place about 40 minutes after he was released, the Associated Press reported, citing authorities.

What are the details?

Rocky Lee Music, 32, was charged Wednesday with carjacking a motorist Sunday night — and Alameda County authorities told the AP the incident took place about 40 minutes after Music was released from Santa Rita Jail in Dublin in the San Francisco Bay Area.

More from the outlet:

Music is accused of stealing a Toyota Prius Sunday night from a man in Dublin a short distance from the Santa Rita Jail near a BART station, driving it to San Ramon, abandoning it and trying to carjack another victim. He ran and was arrested with help from a police dog, authorities said.

Music had first been arrested a dozen hours earlier in Oakland on suspicion of car theft but after being taken to the jail for processing he was cited and released on zero bail.

The AP reported that thousands of inmates have been released from county jails under an April 13 emergency order by California's Judicial Council, which cuts bail to zero for those charged with low-level offenses. The outlet added that the purpose of the order is to fight the potential spread of the coronavirus in the crowded jails — and that authorities said Santa Rita Jail has seen 16 inmates test positive for COVID-19.

Music was charged with felony carjacking, unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle, and receiving stolen property, the Mercury News reported, adding that his criminal history includes convictions for felony unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle in December 2018, second-degree burglary in 2018, assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury in 2016, second-degree burglary in 2013, and second-degree burglary in 2012.

He remained in custody and is expected to be arraigned Friday, the paper said.

Play it again, Sam

Also on Wednesday, a similarly freed inmate was charged with setting nine fires less than a week after his release from the Fresno County Jail, the outlet said.

Owen Aguilar, 27, of Selma is accused of starting the fires last Thursday — among them a tent occupied by a homeless man, several commercial dumpsters, as well as a fire in a shopping cart which spread to brush and debris, authorities told the AP, adding that no injuries were reported.

If convicted on felony arson charges, he could face nearly 46 years in state prison, the AP said.

Aguilar had been facing a charge of felony animal cruelty when he was released from jail on April 10, the outlet said, citing the Fresno County district attorney's office.

More from the AP:

Early this month, a man charged with a series of school burglaries in Fremont was released without bail, then rearrested and accused of another spate of crimes in Santa Clara County that included stealing 23 cars from a San Jose car rental agency with the help of three other people, police said. All four were arrested on April 16, booked and then released on zero bail, authorities said.

Other freed inmates have been rearrested on accusations ranging from indecent exposure to burglary, the outlet said.

Anything else?

Under the COVID-19 order, some inmates have had weeks or months shaved off their release dates to reduce jail populations, the outlet said.

The AP added that generally only those suspected of serious or violent crimes are being charged and held at jails.

The order is expected to continue for 90 days after Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom lifts a statewide stay-at-home order, the outlet said.

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