Prison escapee caught

More than 72 hours after his escape, a man charged with boat theft is back in custody at Northward Prison.

James Orville Ebanks, 47, was taken into custody by a prison search team Monday night in Bodden Town. No further details were immediately available on the capture.

The Caymanian man was charged with stealing a 65-foot Red Sail Sports catamaran last year. He was noticed missing from Northward just before noon Friday.

Prison officials said Ebanks cut through the bars of his cell window using a tool, and then cut through the perimeter fence of the facility to make good his escape.

An internal investigation into the security lapse has begun and one prison officer was immediately suspended over the incident Friday.

Ebanks was charged with stealing Red Sail’s Spirit of Calypso off Seven Mile Beach in May 2008 and single-handedly piloting the large vessel nearly to Honduras. Large catamarans generally require three to four crew members to pilot.

He is also accused of stealing the tender boat Carib Wave in December 2005. The boat was believed to have been sold in Honduras for $10,000.

Friday’s escape was the second major security breach for the Cayman Islands prison system this year.

An inmate on a work release programme was accused of killing 21-year-old Sabrina Schirn in March. The work programme has been put on hold while an internal investigation is conducted.

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