GALVESTON, Texas – An alleged bank robber escaped from the Galveston County jail and spent Easter Sunday on the run. He was recaptured less than 24 hours after his escape was discovered. The man walked out of the jail after switching identity wristbands with another inmate.
Alex Washington, 38, was in the county lockup on federal bank robbery charges. He had been held in the jail since his arrest in November 2015. His trial was scheduled to begin in May.
Washington allegedly devised a scheme to change identities with a yet unnamed inmate who was being held on a $100,000 bond for identity theft, the Galveston County Daily News reported. After swapping wristbands with the other inmate, Washington is said to have contacted a local bondsman and made arrangements for someone to post the bond.
He walked out of the Galveston County jail at about 11:20 p.m. on Saturday. About an hour later, jailers discovered he was missing and a manhunt began. Less than 24 hours later, Washington was discovered at an address he had listed on his inmate information sheet, officials reported.
The plastic wristband is similar to those used on patients in hospitals make identification simpler. It is not clear how Washington was able to swap wristbands with the other inmate.
The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the U.S. Marshals Office and the FBI because of the pending bank robbery charge. The deputy marshals took part in Washington’s re-arrest.
The now re-arrested inmate is accused of robbing a Patriot Bank in Friendswood, Texas, on August 22, 2015. He was part of a four-man crew. Following a six-hour manhunt that included house-to-house searches and two school lockdowns, police found the crew and made the arrests.
During the search, police discovered the stolen cash along with the clothing and guns used in the robbery. These items were found in a nearby construction site.
Two other people are being held in connection with Washington’s escape from the local jai. Their identities have not yet been released and no charges have been filed.
Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset told the local news outlet they did not suspect the bond company as being involved in the escape. “It doesn’t appear that they were aware,” Troschesset said.
Authorities did not reveal to the public that Washington had escaped until about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. The sheriff said he did not want to alert Washington that they knew he had escaped.
Washington will now face additional charges in connection with his escape from the county jail.