Two men who are thought to have stolen a truck as part of an escape from a prison camp abandoned it about 12 hours after the escape and hundreds of miles away, law enforcement said Thursday.
Jason Green, 48, and Robert Simpson, 30, at about 10:30 Sunday night were found missing from a Newcastle prison camp, authorities said earlier this week. The two men stole a city work truck the same night, according to the Wyoming Department of Corrections.
On Thursday, the Weston County Emergency Management Office said via social media that the stolen truck — which the prison agency had described as having a light bar on the roof and unit numbers on the cab — had been found in Laramie. A Laramie Police Department spokeswoman said on Thursday afternoon that the truck had been reported as suspicious that morning. The reporting party said the truck had been parked near a local business since Monday morning.
The two men are likely not still in the area, Lt. Gwen Smith said. The spokeswoman said another vehicle was reported stolen at about the same time and in the same area. Police do not have solid information tying the second vehicle theft to the escape, Smith said. But authorities are investigating if the truck was abandoned in favor of a new vehicle.
“It does seem terribly coincidental,” she said.
The prison agency issued shortly before 5 p.m. a statement saying the vehicle stolen in Laramie was a black 2005 Subaru Forester with the license plate number WY 5-21517. According to the statement, authorities on Wednesday found Green and Simpson’s prison uniforms near the location of the Newcastle truck theft.
Mark Horan, the spokesman, said the uniforms had not been initially found upon report of the vehicle theft because they were hidden nearby. He said he did not know how Green and Simpson would have found street clothing. Horan said the agency could not answer a set of questions asking about any other criminal activity thought to be related to the escape, the circumstances of the escape and the men’s suspected location, citing both the ongoing investigation and a lack of knowledge.
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The conservation camp has space for 238 minimum security inmates, according to the corrections department. The facility also houses the Wyoming Boot Camp Program.
Green is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs roughly 170 pounds. He has white and gray hair and blue eyes.
Simpson is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.
Simpson was assigned to a dog training program and authorities think he took a black mixed Labrador named Shadow with him.
Green was serving a three- to eight-year sentence for larceny. Simpson was serving a five- to 15-year sentence for aggravated burglary with a weapon.
Authorities have said the men should be considered dangerous and not be approached. Instead, people should contact law enforcement or dial 911.