Crime

Police search for inmate from Paso Robles who walked away from state prison

Brian Thomas Dill, 33, is believed to have walked away from his minimum-security housing unit in Fresno County Monday.
Brian Thomas Dill, 33, is believed to have walked away from his minimum-security housing unit in Fresno County Monday.

Law enforcement officials are searching for a Pleasant Valley State Prison inmate from Paso Robles who is believed to have walked away from his minimum-security dormitory Monday.

Officials are asking for the public’s help in locating Brian Thomas Dill, 33, who court records show was most recently sentenced in San Luis Obispo Superior Court in July 2015 to 32 months in prison for firearm possession by a felon.

A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman said Monday that Dill was noticed missing Monday morning from the dorm-style “minimum support” facility where he was housed. Inmates in that facility participate in kitchen, groundskeeping and other duties.

The building sits outside the prison’s secure perimeter, CDCR spokeswoman Terry Thornton said.

The prison is located in Coalinga in southwestern Fresno County.

Thornton said the agency’s Office of Correctional Safety was working with area law enforcement, including the CHP, to search for Dill.

Law enforcement agencies in San Luis Obispo and Fresno counties have been notified of the missing inmate, Thornton said.

Dill was housed in a facility for low-risk inmates despite having several previous criminal convictions.

According to Tribune archives, Dill was arrested in July 2011 after leading CHP officers on a chase on Highway 41 that ended when he rode a Harley-Davidson onto a Morro Bay beach north of Morro Rock and got stuck in the sand.

Officers found him in possession of an illegally altered and concealed shotgun, two daggers and drug paraphernalia, according to the CHP.

He was allegedly under the influence of a controlled substance at the time and was convicted of possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm.

He also was convicted in a separate case that same year for making criminal threats to cause great bodily injury or death.

Dill was paroled in October 2014 and placed on local community supervision in San Luis Obispo County, records show, before the 2015 conviction, his second strike under California’s “Three Strikes” sentencing guidelines.

He is described as white and bald with green eyes, 180 pounds and 5 feet, 9 inches tall.

Thornton said officials are urging people to use caution and immediately call 911 if they see Dill or have knowledge of his whereabouts.

Matt Fountain: 805-781-7909, @MattFountain1

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