The two men who escaped from the North Idaho Correctional Institution in Cottonwood early Saturday morning are back in custody. The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office says 20-year-old Caleb Joe Thomas and 21-year-old Ridge Scott Dains were captured while driving a stolen vehicle near Walla Walla.
Thomas and Dains escaped from NICI shortly after midnight Saturday. IDOC is conducting a thorough review of the events that led up to the escape. They will be returned to Idaho County where they face the possibility of new charges related to their escape.
Thomas' criminal record includes convictions in Canyon and Payette counties for solicitation to commit perjury, 1st degree arson, destruction of evidence, and grand theft.
Dains' criminal record includes a burglary conviction in Canyon County.
Walla Walla County Chief Deputy Sheriff John King says Thomas and Dains were taken into custody after a woman noticed a car with Idaho plates and the two men at the Zip Zone convenience store.
"Apparently she had been looking through Facebook and recognized these guys," King says. The woman called police and dispatch ran the license plate. It came back on a stolen Toyota Corolla.
When Walla Walla City Police arrived, the car was gone, but King says a deputy located the car on US 12 in the Lowden-Gardena area. "He got help from other deputies and the Washington State Patrol," King says.
And after a short pursuit, the escapees went down a dead-end road near Touchet. They were taken into custody without incident.
A loaded .45 handgun was found under the seat and there was also an unloaded AK-47 in the car, King says.
There were no injuries. "The crooks are in custody, the guns are in custody, and the car is in custody," King says.
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