By OPEC Staff

Two walk-aways from Mule Creek State Prison’s Minimum Support Facility were apprehended three days later with the help of Elden Wait, a 78-year-old Plymouth area rancher.

“It’s all in a day out here in the country,” he told the Fox40 reporter.

What isn’t “all in a day” was the April 21 presentation to Wait of an honorary key to Mule Creek State Prison by Warden Joe A. Lizarraga.

Warden Lizarraga visited Wait at his home to thank him for his courageous assistance in the apprehension of the two walk-aways.

Patrick Raines, 21, and Jonny Maciel, 37, did not report to work April 16. Raines was serving a 6-year sentence for carjacking, and Maciel was serving a 15-year sentence for second-degree burglary.

Emergency apprehension procedures were activated, and their mug shots were distributed to local media.

According to the Ione Ledger-Dispatch, Wait was tending sheep Saturday morning when a neighbor called to tell him that two men were seen walking across his property.

Wait told reporters that he got in his truck to look for the two men, and when he did, he made sure that they saw he had a rifle.

“I just pulled a rifle up, so that it was visible to them,” Wait said, and the two men sat down.

“There was no fight whatsoever,” Correctional Lt. Charles Weaver told Fox40 News. “As soon as officers got on the grounds, they immediately surrendered over to custody with no issues.”

Several of Wait’s neighbors stopped by his ranch throughout the day to thank him, including Gini Groza, who told Fox40, “I can’t think of a better neighbor to have.”

Raines and Maciel face charges of escape without force.