Reward being offered in search for escaped inmate - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Reward being offered in search for escaped inmate

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Police continue to search for 25-year-old Jerry Mercado, who escaped the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution in Enfield this weekend. (CT State Police) Police continue to search for 25-year-old Jerry Mercado, who escaped the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution in Enfield this weekend. (CT State Police)
ENFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

Connecticut State Police are continuing their full-scale search for a missing inmate. 

Police said 25-year-old Jerry Mercado escaped the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution in Enfield this weekend. Police deemed that Mercado was "unaccounted for" on Sunday afternoon

Commissioner of the Department of Correction Scott Semple told the media on Tuesday they believe Mercado may have escaped in a vehicle.

"There was no physical breach in the fence line and we believe a motor vehicle was involved," Semple said. "There are vehicles on the grounds of the facility that were doing routine work and there's also another vehicle to provide garbage collection. We are in the midst of evaluating that now."

Tuesday, U.S. Marshals announced they are offering a $1,500 reward in this search.

On Sunday, the facility was placed on lockdown and local and state police were notified. Enfield residents said they received an alert about the escaped inmate. In it, police warned them not to approach him.

Collin Provost, a state correctional officer and President of AFSCME Local 391, said the escape of Mercado was "preventable through proactive planning."

"The State has reduced staffing levels over the last several years, leaving the safety and security of the facilities and their respective communities vulnerable," Provost said in a statement on Monday. "Connecticut's correctional unions have expressed our concern to the Malloy administration that reductions in staffing levels is a dangerous gamble on felons not seizing opportunities to create unrest in our prisons and our neighborhoods."

Provost said Mercado's escape was a "wake up call to restore staffing, and improve safety and security in our prisons."

"We have a collective responsibility to open the community's eyes to the threats we face. Increasing staffing levels to the levels each facility maintained prior to the last two reductions in 2015 and 2011, respectively, will dramatically reduce the ability of incarcerated populations to assault staff, each other or escape and endanger the community," Provost said. 

Semple said they believe he's in the Hartford area.

Semple described Mercado as standing 5'4", weighing about 140 pounds and having black hair with brown eyes.

"Mercado has a visible tattoo in his left temple area," Semple said. "And a large tattoo on the right side of his neck that reads 'time waits for no one.'"

Mercado was sentenced on Aug. 2016 to three years in prison for burglary. He was scheduled to be released in Jan. 2019.

"This is the first sentence term of incarceration in this escapees history. Jerry Mercado is classified as a low-level felon," Semple previously told Channel 3. 

Channel 3 did some digging on Mercado's criminal history. According to the state's judicial website, Mercado was also convicted of stealing a firearm and interfering with an officer/resisting arrest. He was sentenced to 18 months of probation in 2012.

Once he is found, the spokesperson for the Department of Correction said Mercado will face criminal charges for escaping.

Anyone with any information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crime Squad at 860-534-1000, the Department of Correction Parole Fugitive Unit at 860-250-2858, any Police Department at 911 or text TIP711 with the information to 274637.

Refresh this page and watch Channel 3 for updates.

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