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A 26-year-old Honor Farm escapee eluded Ceres Police on Oct. 7 despite an 11-hour manhunt.

Antonio Bento, 26, an illegal alien from Mexico, was spotted Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. getting into a stolen 1991 Chevy pickup in the 1900 block of Darrah Street. Members of the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force watched Bento get into the vehicle and followed him to the area of Central and Hollister where he acted like he was going to go into a coffee shop. As StanCATT officers approached Bento, the suspect jumped back into the pickup and sped off. The chase lasted only two blocks when Bento bailed out of the pickup on Hollister near the former Memorial hospital, jumping fences and running through yards.

His female passenger, 27, was detained.

Officers ran after Bento but he escaped when he ran westbound across the northbound then southbound lanes of Highway 99 dodging rush-hour traffic. An extensive search using a CHP canine lasted until 9:30 a.m.

Officers and detectives continued to search for Bento. At 3 p.m. Bento was seen running near the Ceres Memorial Park. Authorities believe that Bento may have been hiding inside the cemetery for those five hours.

Bento was chased to the 5500 block of Central Avenue where he was spotted by officers. He escaped into an orchard and was undetected despite a three-hour search using police dogs and a helicopter.

Anyone with information on Bento is urged to call the Ceres Police Department detectives at 538-5727.