Two escapees on the loose following Coffee Co. jailbreak - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Two escapees on the loose following Coffee Co. jailbreak

August 18, 2007

Douglas -- A daring escape from a South Georgia jail has two inmates on the loose Saturday night.

Sheriff's officials in Coffee County are not only on the lookout, they're also investigating how three inmates were able to sneak out of a medium security lockup and scale two barbed wire fences Friday morning.

While one of the escapees have since been captured, Coffee County Sheriff's Dept. is now looking for two men on the loose while determining how in fact they got past secured doors.

The Coffee County Sheriff's Department needs your help in finding 27 -year-old Erick Lavone Jones and 19-year-old Brandon Vilvert. Both are wanted by authorities after they broke out of medium security lockup at the Coffee County Jail.

"Myself and the rest of the day shift came on and discovered that two doors were opened at the medium security area, leading out to the outside yard. At that point we called for another head count and noticed that three of our inmates were missing," said Officer Jerry Hudson.

It was a daring escape none the less that took place sometime between 12:30 AM and 7:30 AM Friday morning. An escape that undoubtedly took some planning and obvious climbing ability.

The three escapees were able to use a jail cell mattress to throw over the barbed wire atop the 25-foot fence. This aided them in getting to a second exterior fence that once scaled, placed them off the jail's grounds.

Pieces of the mattress remain on the sharp, barbed wire just inches away from the second story stair well. But the three inmates first had to get through a medium security door, one of two doors left slightly open, early Friday.

"Exactly how that happened, we do not know at this time. That incident is being further investigated. Hopefully, we'll have an outcome to this and a solution in the very near future," said Hudson.

While one escapee, Brandon Smith, was apprehended a short time after the escape, both Jones and Vilvert remain at large. Both were awaiting trial at the Coffee County Jail, Jones on burglary charges, Vilvert on multiple charges ranging from motor vehicle theft to statutory rape.

Hudson said, "We've had a lot of concern from various citizens throughout the community who are concerned for their safety. I want to personally assure everybody of their safety. The Coffee County Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement agencies have joined in the search for the escapees, and hopefully we will apprehend them soon."

Two $500.00 rewards have been issued for anyone with information that can lead deputies to the escapees.

If you have any information you're asked to contact the Coffee County Sheriff's Office at 912-384-4227.

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