CRIME

Sheriff: Idaho inmate used crawl space to escape, shocking worker by bursting out of closet

Idaho sheriff blames budget cuts for prisoner's escape

 

Authorities in north Idaho say an inmate jailed on burglary charges escaped by working his way through a ceiling crawl space in a utility room to reach the lobby.

Shoshone County Sheriff Mitch Alexander tells KXLY-TV in Spokane, Washington, (http://is.gd/A7f5bJ ) that one employee and a trainee were working at the jail in Wallace, Idaho, when 48-year-old Roy Bieluch escaped Tuesday night. He says funding limitations led to the staffing levels.

Bieluch hasn't been found, and a nationwide warrant has been issued for his arrest. Alexander says deputies arrested a woman they believe assisted Bieluch after his escape.

Video from a jail security camera shows the inmate bursting out of a closet just as a cleaning woman starts to open the door.

Bieluch had been jailed since December on charges of burglary, malicious injury to property and petty theft.