RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says two inmates were able to escape from a transport van in Raleigh last week because of a worn lock.
“A door lock bar on a cage inside a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office prisoner transport van became worn over years of opening and closing and prematurely released as detention officers were transporting prisoners to several prisons around the Raleigh area,” the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office announced Sunday.
The sheriff explained how Damarcus Dashaun Dixon, 19, and Logan Gene Long, 24, managed to get out of a van on Western Boulevard around 9:45 a.m. Friday before being caught in a shed about 45 minutes later a couple of blocks away.
“Evidently after travel on the interstate and road vibration it caused the bar to vibrate into the unlock position. When that happened the prisoners were able to reach through a slim opening and release the back door on the van from inside,” said Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter.
Carpenter added, “After review, new security measures have been taken and the bar will be secured with a new locking mechanism to prevent any breaches in security to the detention of inmates in the rear or side doors of our vans.”
The unlock knob on the inside of the side and back doors of the transport van has now been disabled and will no longer work from inside, Lincoln County officials said.
Dixon was convicted of robbery with a dangerous weapon in September and was scheduled to be released July 12, 2016. Raleigh Police captured the pair on Friday after the brief escape.
The inmates had a scheduled court appearance in Lincoln County and were being transported to Polk Correctional Center near Butner when they escaped, officials said.
Five other prisoners remained in the van and did not try to escape.