Escaped inmate captured in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An inmate who escaped from the Columbia County Detention Facility Tuesday night was captured in Jacksonville Thursday.

Roberts was arrested by U.S. Marshals and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in the 7200 block of Crane Avenue.

According to JSO, Roberts was caught by surprise but he did not put up a fight.

Inmate Steve A. Roberts was noticed missing from the facility around 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Authorities believe Roberts left sometime after lights out on Tuesday night by climbing through ductwork and forcing a vent cover off allowing him access to the outside of the facility, according to a release from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Investigators believe it is highly unlikely Roberts acted alone and investigators are interviewing the other inmates.

Roberts has an extensive criminal history mostly involving thefts and property crimes, according to the CCSO. He was currently in jail on warrants for such offenses.

A state wide BOLO was issued for Roberts Wednesday morning.

Roberts is the only prisoner who escape from this facility in the last five years. In the wake of this incident, Sheriff Mark Hunter has ordered a complete review of jail procedures and an inspection of the detention facility.

Roberts was arrested in Jacksonville on burglary charges Feb. 13. He was released March 6 and arrested in Lake City March 29.


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