A prisoner who escaped in June was recaptured this week and accused of robbery after surviving for months by hiding in a vacant electronics store and eating stolen baby food, police...
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A prisoner who escaped in June was recaptured this week and accused of robbery after surviving for months by hiding in a vacant electronics store and eating stolen baby food, police said.
Authorities said Jeffrey Allen Manchester lived in a 4-by-10-foot closet, played hoops with a mini-basketball net and watched “Spider-Man 2” on a DVD player. He also routed water from an adjacent Toys R Us and installed a smoke detector, they said.
“I’ve never seen anybody so determined,” said Officer Fred Allen, who spotted the hideaway Sunday. “He wasn’t going to make a stupid mistake. We had to find him.”
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Manchester was four years into a 45-year robbery sentence when he disappeared from the Brown Creek Correctional Institution on June 15. Authorities say he escaped by clinging to the undercarriage of a truck.
Manchester, 33, now is accused of robbing the Toys R Us Dec. 26, then setting fire to a dentist’s office. Police think he had dental work done while he was on the lam and set the fire to hide his records.
Police also are reviewing unsolved early morning break-ins at the toy store, connected by a secret door to the former Circuit City space where Manchester lived.
In the Dec. 26 case, he faces charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, malicious use of explosives to damage property, burning an unoccupied building, breaking and entering and possession of a firearm by a felon.