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Man suspected of stealing Army Reserve weapons escapes Rhode Island jail

(Reuters) - A getaway car thought to have been stolen by a man who escaped from a maximum security detention facility in Rhode Island over the weekend has been found in neighboring Massachusetts, authorities said on Monday.

James Morales, 35, suspected of stealing weapons from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Massachusetts in November 2015, escaped from the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility on Saturday, prompting a manhunt.

The Massachusetts State Police said they have recovered the car believe was stolen by Morales.

"Morales remains at large and is being intensively sought by law enforcement," they said.

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Officials from the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility, which was holding Morales, did not respond to requests for comment. The facility is operated by the Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation.

Morales is thought to have scaled a building and climbed over razor-wire fencing before stealing a getaway vehicle, local media reported the U.S. Marshals Service as saying, adding law enforcement found bloodied prison clothing they believe he was wearing at the time of the escape.

Two corrections officers at the facility have been placed on leave pending an investigation, WBZ-TV News reported.

Morales is suspected of stealing six military rifles and 10 handguns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester, about 45 miles (70 kms) west of Boston, in November 2015.

He broke into the facility through a kitchen window, federal prosecutors said, citing surveillance video and an electronic monitoring bracelet Morales had been ordered to wear by a court as a condition of release on bail for a separate sexual assault charge.

Morales had gone to the facility earlier that week to pick up copies of his military discharge papers.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bernard Orr)

 
 
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