[Photo Provided by St. Joseph County Police]
Police in St. Joseph County say a jail inmate escaped around 4:30 this [Tuesday] morning, Eastern time, after getting access to a bread delivery truck that had keys in the ignition. Officials say 27-year-old Franklin Rice of South Bend then drove the truck from a dock area at the jail and through a gate. Police have located the bread truck, and also located his jail-issued shirt and hat, but the inmate has not yet been found. He was booked into jail in October on a burglary charge, and was due to be sentenced next week.
Here is more information from St. Joseph County Police this morning:
At approximately 0430 hrs. an inmate housed at the St. Joseph County Jail, 401 W. Sample St. South Bend, IN 46601, was able to escape custody.
The inmate, identified as Franklin L. Rice, 27, of South Bend, was able to gain access to a bread delivery truck which had the keys in the ignition. Rice then drove the truck from the rear dock area located on the north side of the jail. Rice proceeded driving the delivery truck through the secure gate on the northeast side of the secure jail property. Rice drove the truck onto Lafayette Blvd. and stopped leaving the vehicle on foot, between Sample Street and Bronson Street. It appears Rice got into another vehicle and fled the scene. With the assistance of our midnight patrol officers, K-9 unit, jail staff, and the South Bend Police Department a perimeter was set up immediately around the surrounding area. Rice wasn't located, however, his jail issued hat and shirt were found on Bronson Street.
Rice was booked into the St. Joseph County Jail on October 11, 2012 on a burglary charge. Rice was due to be sentenced on April 24, 2013 (unknown at this time if he pled guilty or was found guilty). Rice became a jail worker in November of 2012 and worked in the kitchen area of the jail since that time.
Rice is described as a male white 5'11" 165lbs with brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to please call their local police or the St. Joseph County Police immediately at (574) 235-9611.