- Associated Press - Saturday, July 19, 2014

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - A Lamar County inmate was caught Friday in Vicksburg, three days after escaping by stealing a transport van while working as part of a road crew.

Matthew Wayne Thompson, 29, who is a native of the Warren County area, was captured after a two-hour standoff at a mobile home park in Vicksburg, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace told The Vicksburg Post (https://bit.ly/WrmtZN ).

Pace said as deputies approached a trailer, Thompson ran out the back door and jumped into a pond carrying what appeared to be a large-caliber handgun.

Law enforcement officers surrounded the pond at about 3:30 p.m., and Thompson kept his head above water until he surrendered and was taken into custody shortly after 5 p.m.

The Hattiesburg American reported (https://hatne.ws/WkTmXI ) that Thompson was sentenced to the work program Monday for receiving stolen goods. He was arrested in early July when Lamar County deputies found him asleep in Sumrall in a Honda Civic that had been reported stolen in Panama City, Florida.

Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel said the van had not been recovered. He said a county employee overseeing the work crew had gone to the back of the trailer to help unload equipment.

“He left the keys in the van when he went to the back, and (Thompson) went around to the front, jumped in and took off,” Rigel said.

Rigel said the county has revised its procedures and policies for road crews. Rigel said Thompson will face new charges, including escape and grand larceny.


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