Manhunt for Alabama fugitive ends in DeKalb

Manhunt for Alabama fugitive ends in DeKalb

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Coosa County Jail
Shane Anthony Vernon was arrested in DeKalb County late Tuesday after escaping an Alabama jail Sunday afternoon, the Coosa County Sheriff's Office said.
  • Story Highlights
  • Shane Anthony Vernon escaped through the ceiling of an Alabama jail on Sunday.
  • It was the second time he had escaped since Oct. 29.
  • Vernon was captured Tuesday night.

A nationwide search for an Alabama fugitive who terrorized multiple people and abandoned one of the victims in metro Atlanta ended overnight, authorities said.

Shane Anthony Vernon was captured just before 10:20 p.m. Tuesday in DeKalb County, according to the Coosa County Sheriff’s Office.

He was arrested without incident and is being held at the DeKalb jail awaiting extradition. 

Vernon, who previously escaped from the Coosa jail on Oct. 29, got away again about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, the sheriff’s office said.

Coosa County is about 65 miles southeast of Birmingham.

“An investigation revealed that Vernon was allowed out of his cell to use the inmate telephone system,” Sheriff Terry Wilson said in a news release. “While Vernon was using the phone, he noticed that the Correctional Officer on duty had failed to properly secure one of the doors in the area.”

Vernon, 27, went through that door, gained access to the ceiling of the jail, went around four security doors and escaped from the facility, according to authorities.

The officer’s actions are under investigation.

After escaping, Vernon broke into a home in Rockford, Ala., where he robbed the residents, tied them up and drove off in their 2016 Ford Fusion, the sheriff’s office said. He later dumped that vehicle just south of the Coosa-Elmore county line and ran into the woods.

He turned up again Monday evening in Titus, Ala., where authorities said he tied up another family at gunpoint, stole a red mini bike and abandoned it, too.

That same day, Vernon kidnapped a man in Wetumpka, Ala., in Elmore County and took his vehicle, according to officials. The vehicle and the victim were found Tuesday in Douglas County, Elmore Sheriff Bill Franklin told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I have no idea” why Vernon drove to Douglasville, “and our victim has no idea,” Franklin said.

While Franklin said the victim was traumatized, “all indications are that he is OK.”

The Elmore County District Attorney’s office said Vernon faces three counts of robbery, two counts of burglary and one count of kidnapping. Warrants have also been signed for second-degree escape, two counts of robbery, two counts of imprisonment and one count of theft of property, according to officials.

He was originally arrested on burglary and theft charges, AL.com reported.

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