Update: Click 2 Houston is now reporting that Alex Washington has been apprehended by authorities. The Galveston County Sheriff’s Department took him into custody tonight around 8:30 p.m. He was located in Bolivar Peninsula.
An accused bank robber, Alex Washington, 38, has escaped from the Galveston County Jail in what Sheriff Henry Trochesset describes as the most creative escape that he has seen in his 33 years of law enforcement. Washington engineered the escape by switching wrist bands with another prisoner who closely fit his physical description. Once that was done, he bonded out of jail on a $100,000 bond under the second prisoner’s name. It is reported that an unidentified male third party outside of the jail posted the bond on his behalf. Authorities unwittingly released him at around 11:20 p.m. on Saturday.
The inmate with whom Washington switched wrist bands was being held on an identity theft bond.
According to ABC 13, it took roughly an hour before jailers realized that he was gone.
The Daily News describes the plastic wrist band as similar to those used in hospitals. They go on to state that typically the band is cut off of the prisoner once he is released.
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the sheriff’s office, FBI, and the U.S. Marshals Office are currently searching for Washington. The sheriff’s office had postponed announcing the accused bank robber’s escape so that he would not be made aware that authorities were in the process of hunting for him.
Accused bank robber escapes from Galveston County Jail: An accused bank robber escaped the Galveston County Jail… https://t.co/eCXTMalpuT
— Galveston Daily (@galvestondaily) March 27, 2016
— US Prisons (@USPrisons) January 22, 2015
Washington was arrested along with three other men in August for allegedly robbing the Patriot Bank located in Friendswood at 102 W Parkwood Avenue on August 22, 2015. He was finally apprehended after a six-hour manhunt. During that time police conducted house-to-house searches and closed down two schools. They were all arrested after residents reported seeing suspicious persons in the San Joaquin subdivision.
During the course of the manhunt police also discovered cash, clothing, and guns along with the two tracking devices that were previously enclosed in the stolen bank bags in a construction site set up in the Sterling Creek subdivision.
Subsequently, in November, Washington was charged with federal bank robbery and gun possession.
Sheriff Trochesset commented to Click 2 Houston as to whether or not he considered the escapee dangerous.
“I would say anybody that’s a serial bank robber with charges of possession of a firearm and to go to these tactics to escape from jail, I’d consider them dangerous.”
He also stated the following to The Daily News.
“I don’t know if he’s armed, but I would believe that based on the tactics he used as a bank robber he is dangerous.”
If convicted of the Patriot Bank robbery, Washington could face up to 25 years in prison. His trial was scheduled to begin on May 2.
The three men arrested and charged along with Washington in the 2015 robbery of the Patriot Bank have been identified as Cornell Simon, Jaquaris Marquis Rhine, and Branden Forch, Jr.
Two people are currently being held in association with Washington’s escape; however, no charges have been yet filed against them. The sheriff’s office is also investigating to try to determine how Washington was able to switch wrist bands and make his escape without detection by jailers.
Sheriff Trochesset also does not believe that the bond company involved in the matter was in any way associated with the accused bank robber’s escape. Bond representatives actually conducted an interview with Washington as he was posing as the second prisoner.
Anyone with information about the escapee’s whereabouts is urged to either call Crime Stoppers or phone the sheriff’s office’s tip line at 866-248-8477. It is promised that tipsters will remain anonymous.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]