Derrick Sanders, Escaped Sex Offender, Found Panhandling Near San Francisco's Most Popular Tourist Destination

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Derrick Sanders, a high-risk sex offender who escaped from a Bay Area mental health facility late last week, was apprehended over the weekend when local authorities found him panhandling near San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.

The San Francisco Examiner reports the SF Police Department received a tip on Saturday morning from someone visiting the popular tourist hotspot who recognized Sanders as the escaped convict from the previous day's news reports.

Authorities initially put out the alert after Sanders took advantage of an open elevator shaft and escaped from the locked-down Cordilleras Mental Health Facility early Friday morning.

The 34-year old Sanders, a transient who mostly resided in San Mateo and Alameda counties, was being held on one misdemeanor charge relating to an alleged sex offense against a minor and has a long history of sexual and weapons-related crimes.

Before he was apprehended near the intersection of Beach and Powell streets, Sanders was considered by authorities to be especially dangerous due to his past offenses and history of mental illness.

"He's a parolee, he has violence in his history, he has prior sex offenses in his history," San Mateo County Sheriff Lt. Larry Shumaker told KTVU. "The fact he has also a sex offense with minors is definitely a high risk in our community."

Sanders has been taken into custody and is being transferred to the San Mateo Country jail.

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Filed by Aaron Sankin