Escapee Nabbed In San Diego


An arrest in San Diego of a man driving a vehicle stolen from Payson resulted in the capture of an escaped inmate.

Sept. 23, the Gila County Sheriff's Office received a message from the San Diego Police Department. The San Diego police advised they had arrested a Jay Larry Peska for theft.


Lance Neilson

Peska was driving a vehicle that was reported stolen in Payson Sept. 8. Peska was detained in the San Diego jail.

A fingerprint comparison revealed that Peska was actually Lance Dean Neilson, a prisoner who had escaped from the Gila County jail in Payson Sept. 8. Neilson was being held in Payson on charges of theft of transportation and forged credit cards.

A warrant for Neilson's arrest had already been issued. He is being held in San Diego on that warrant and had his initial appearance Sept. 25. Neilson signed extradition papers and will voluntarily return to Arizona, according to Det. Brian Havey.

Two GCSO deputies will travel to San Diego and return with Neilson sometime within the next week, according to Sheriff John Armer's office.

When he returns, Neilson will be facing additional felony charges in addition to the original felony charges on which he was being held.

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