SAN FRANCISCO -- A man trying to avoid paying his BART fare at one of the holiday season's busiest stations was nabbed by police, who later made a disturbing discovery.

The gate jumper was an escapee from Lompoc prison.

BART police said 40-year-old Buchon Buchanan tried to force open the orange fare gate to enter the Powell Street station on Sunday, police said. An officer saw the violation, conducted a records check in accordance with police procedures, and learned that Buchanan was wanted, police said.

The U.S. Marshals Service issued the felony, no-bail arrest warrant against Buchanan for escaping the prison, where he was serving time on a bank robbery conviction. BART police took him to the San Francisco County Jail, where he also received a citation for fare evasion.

Buchanan, who resided in Santa Barbara, was sentenced in 2004 to nine years in prison for robbing 22 California banks in the Bay Area and in Southern California the previous two years, according to previous news reports.

Rick Hurd covers crime. Contact him in Richmond at 510-262-2728 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.



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