An escaped inmate remains at large hours after he walked off a Bulloch County Correctional Institute work detail Wednesday afternoon at the Bulloch County landfill on Lakeview Road.
Around noon Wednesday, Benjamin Clarence Crapse, 34, "jumped a fence and ran," said BCCI Warden Chris Hill. Crapse stands around 5'6", weighs around 145 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes and was "wearing a green shirt and blue prison trousers," he said.
BCCI officers, Bulloch County Sheriff's deputies, Georgia State Patrol troopers, Statesboro police and deputy marshals from the Regional Fugitive Task Force saturated the area around the landfill on Lakeview Road, said Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown. "Crapse was seen climbing the fence at the landfill and then running into a wooded area."
Crapse was serving a sentence for convictions of theft by receiving stolen property, fraud and fourth degree forgery in Richmond County, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. Incarcerated in January, he would have been released by November, according to department of correction records.
Hill said Crapse's phone records and mail are being reviewed to see whether there is any clue as to whether he corresponded with someone about a planned escape.
Brown said deputies and other officers responded to the scene in less than five minutes, and K9 units from the Georgia State Prison as well as the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office arrived shortly afterward, he said.
A helicopter from the Georgia State Patrol's Aviation unit also responded and participated in the search, said Bulloch County Sheriff's Capt. Todd Hutchens.
Hill said Crapse was performing a work detail with the county's solid waste division, unloading trucks, when he fled. He is not considered dangerous, he said.
However, Brown said if anyone sees Crapse, "Do not approach and immediately call 911 with the location of his whereabouts." Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office dispatch at (912) 764-1771
Police requested that students at Mattie Lively Elementary School come inside from the playground during the search, but the school was not placed on lockdown, said Bulloch County Schools spokesperson Hayley Greene.