Alabama inmate escapes custody for 2nd time in under 30 days

Authorities say an Alabama inmate who has escaped custody for the second time in less than a month is considered armed and dangerous.

Shane Anthony Vernon, 27, escaped on Sunday around 2:30 p.m., news outlets quoted Coosa County Sheriff Terry Wilson as saying. Wilson said Vernon was allowed out of his cell to use a phone and was able to escape after he realized a door in that area wasn't properly secured. He said Vernon was able to get into the maintenance area of the ceiling and got around security doors and then fled on foot.

Vernon had previously escaped Oct. 29 by forcibly removing his restraints and running while being booked into the county jail. He was recaptured the next day.

The sheriff's office told local news outlets that Vernon broke into a home on Highway 231 in Rockford after escaping Sunday. When the residents returned, he tied them up and then stole a gun, a 2016 Ford Fusion and other items, authorities said. They said he abandoned the car just south of the border between Elmore and Coosa counties, and fled on foot into the woods. They said he also stole a small red electric dirt bike.

WBRC-TV reported quoted the sheriff's office as saying that Vernon stole a gun and a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica Touring van from a home in Elmore County on Monday afternoon.

Authorities have obtained felony warrants for first-degree unlawful imprisonment, robbery, motor vehicle theft and second-degree escape.

The U.S. Marshals Service is leading the search effort with the aid of state and local law enforcement agencies.

The sheriff's office also is investigating the actions of a jail officer that apparently led to Vernon's escape.