Two juvenile escapees back in custody

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- Two teens are back in custody after an overnight search that lasted hours.

The 16 and 17-year-old boys escaped Monday afternoon from the Fort Myers Youth Academy located on Ortiz Avenue.

The two teens were reported missing after a headcount when the group was leaving the recreation field.

Police searched near the Edison Avenue area after a tip the boys went to the Salvation Army to get new clothes and bus money.

Around 8:30 p.m., officers located one of the escaped juveniles in the 2400 block of Edison Avenue and took him into custody without incident.

Our WINK News crew called 911 after spotting another teenager in the area. At 9:53 p.m., authorities located the second escaped juvenile near Edison Avenue and Jackson Street.

Police say that call made all the difference.

“Your call helped in the quick arrest of the second subject,” said Lt. Victor Medico. “We had an officer right there who took him into custody without incident and it was a win-win.”

This is the second time in the past year two teens escaped from the Fort Myers Youth Academy and sparked a massive search.

The company that manages the academy tells WINK News, after two teens escaped in August, they installed new dorm windows and a window alarm system, added training for escape response, security checks and operating procedures.

The center provides substance abuse treatment for boys 14 to 18 years old.

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