Escaped inmate caught in Polk County after all night search


BARTOW, Fla. (AP) – Polk County Sheriff’s officials have captured an escaped inmate after searching all night.

Authorities say 45-year-old Joseph Flanagin escaped Thursday afternoon while working as an inmate trustee at the Polk Board of County Commissioners fleet maintenance garage in Bartow.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Donna Wood says Flanagin escaped in a pickup truck. The vehicle was later found but there was no sign of Flanagin.

Authorities said Friday that he had been found in Lakeland and faces charges of escape and grand theft auto.

Flanagin was arrested on Sept. 22 on a charge of violation of probation after his third petit theft conviction. He was sentenced to 300 days behind bars and was scheduled to be released in March 2017.

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