Unknown individuals attempted to break into the Marin County Juvenile Hall early Friday morning but fled before officials could identify them, according to Marin County Sheriff's officials.
The break-in was likely an attempt to free , a San Rafael resident who stands accused of in April as well as from a San Francisco dealership last year, Sheriff's Lt. Barry Heying said.
Heying said investigators believe the break-in attempt was an effort to release Wade, who he called the facility's "most high-profile prisoner."
Today is Wade's 18th birthday and he was scheduled to be moved later this morning to county jail, but instead was moved there immediately after the attempted break-in, Heying said.
At approximately 4:35 a.m., the sheriff’s office received reports that a break-in was in progress at the Juvenile Hall facility. An unknown number of suspects were outside the south wall of the housing facility using a sledge hammer to force entry by slamming a 10-foot high window. The window belonged to Wade's cell, Heying said.
After hearing the first few thumps at the window, a group counselor realized what was going on and removed Wade from his cell. The minors housed in the facility near Wade's cell were also evacuated and staff began an emergency plan to secure the facility. The population of Juvenile Hall, located on Jeannette Prandi Way, was less than 20 children at the time of the attempted break-in.
"Most of the kids slept through the event," Chief Probation Officer Michael Daly said after the press conference. "All of the personnel on staff at Juvenile Hall are unarmed and we do not know if the suspects had weapons."
The thumps at the window continued for about a minute after Wade was removed from the cell. Then the suspects fled, Heying said.
Deputies and officers from several Marin law enforcement agencies arrived on scene and began a search of the facility and the surrounding neighborhood.
They found a backpack containing clothes in the middle of Huckleberry Road, but they did not know if it was connected to the incident, Heying said. The search was called off at 7:15 a.m. with no suspects located.
The suspects did not breach the facility, but the window was damaged. The suspects used bolt cutters to cut through two different fences to access to the security perimeter. Bolt cutters and a sledge hammer were left behind when the suspects fled the area, according to the release.
Investigators are reviewing surveillance camera footage and conducting interviews in an attempt to identify those responsible.
Wade is charged with burglary, vehicle theft and two counts of possession of stolen property in connection with the theft of the celebrity chef's 2008 Lamborghini Spyder Gallardo on March 8, 2011, from the British Motor Car Distributors dealership on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco.
In that heist, the thief rappelled down from the roof of the dealership, entered through a window, then drove away in the car, according to San Francisco police.
Wade is also charged with two counts of attempted murder and parked outside a home on Evergreen and Ethel avenues in Mill Valley, Calif.
In that incident, both the 17-year-old girl and Landon Wahlstrom, 18, of San Rafael, sustained minor injuries from broken glass when Wade allegedly shot at them five times around 11:30 a.m. on April 13, the Marin County Sheriff's Office said.
The victims said the gunman, dressed in black clothing and wearing a black helmet, was on a dark motorcycle when he fired a handgun at them from close range, sheriff's Sgt. Mark Hale said.
Detectives later identified Wade through surveillance footage from the in Strawberry, Calif., investigative work and confirmation from the victims, who said Wade was known for supplying fake California IDs to many high school students in Marin and for driving a yellow Lamborghini.
Detectives spotted Wade in the courthouse hallway at the Civic Center in San Rafael as he was making a juvenile court appearance for a case in which he was charged with breaking into a vacant hilltop mansion in Tiburon, Calif., pretending he lived there and hosting a drinking party in the mansion for dozens of teenagers.
Investigators then trailed him to a Richmond storage facility where they arrested Wade and found Fieri’s car, along with other items related to the shooting and fake IDs, local police scanner coordinates and a full San Francisco Police Department uniform with a badge and duty belt, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
Wade plead not guilty to the charges in June. That same day, , featuring lyrics like, "Free Max Wade, he's my f***ing brother."
At this point, there has been no evidence that Wade is involved with a gang, Heying said.
Due to his high profile, Wade has been separated from the other inmates at Juvenile Hall since his stay, which began in April. Detectives are following up on any phone calls, visits and mail that he received during that time.
Wade was scheduled to be transferred to the county jail on Friday. He arrived at the facility at 6:30 a.m. after the break-in attempt.
"It's no secret that when you turn 18, you can no longer stay in Juvenile Hall," Heying said. "Anyone who knew his birthday could know that."
Anyone with information concerning this matter is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 415-499-7233. To remain anonymous and possibly become eligible for a cash reward call Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.
Jim Welte contributed to this report.