Inmates Escape by Breaking Prison Ceiling: Missouri Police Officer

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Inmates Lance Justin Stephens, Matthew Allen Crawford and Christopher Allen Blevins.

The Barry County Sheriff’s Office

Three inmates who should be “considered armed and dangerous” are on the run after escaping from a Missouri county jail, authorities said.

The men escaped by cutting through the ceiling of the Barry County jail and then exiting through a maintenance door on Friday, June 3, a spokesman for the Barry County Sheriff’s Office told McClatchy News.

Inmates Lance Justin Stephens, Matthew Allen Crawford and Christopher Allen Blevins were still missing on Tuesday, June 7.

Sheriff Danny Boyd said the ceilings are plaster, allowing the fugitives to punch holes in the ceiling before climbing out, ABC News reported. The three men are friends, Boyd said, and two shared a cell while the other was locked up “few yards away.”

Three days after the breakout in southwestern Missouri, US Marshals took over the search, according to a Facebook post from the Barry County Sheriff’s Office.

“At this point we have learned that all the escaped refugees are not in the area and are still wanted by the marshals at this time,” the authorities said.

Boyd believes the men are in Kansas, KY3 reported.

“The night they escaped, there was a farm truck on Y freeway that ended up being stolen,” he told the Missouri station. “It’s the same time they got out, and they found that truck… in Kansas.”

In Salina, Kansas, a woman reported that her SUV was stolen on the night of Saturday, June 4 before being found about 230 miles west in Sharon Springs, the Salina Post reported. A neighbor told police she saw a man and woman nearby when the SUV was stolen.

Surveillance video shows the man and woman who matched the neighbor’s description in the truck stolen from Barry County, KSAL reported.

Police believe the SUV theft is related to at least one of the three inmates, the Salina Post said.

Authorities say the SUV was later abandoned in western Kansas where a second vehicle was stolen from the Sharon Springs area, KSAL reported.

It’s not clear if the woman in the video has anything to do with the jailbreak.

Two of the three inmates were held on suspicion of drugs, ABC reported, and the other was charged with theft.

If you see one of the men, the authorities ask you to call 911 immediately and not to approach them.

Kaitlyn Alanis is a McClatchy National Real-Time Reporter from Kansas. She is an agricultural communications and journalism alumna from Kansas State University.

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