- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) - An inmate who escaped from a suburban Denver jail apparently has the wheels to travel but, for some reason, not the will.

Authorities say Travis Sandlin, 32, has stolen at least three vehicles from open garages since escaping on Sunday. Sandlin, who was being held on motor vehicle theft, drug, and weapons charges, didn’t have to hotwire any of them, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Techmeyer said Friday. All had keys inside, and some also had bonus wallets with cash and credit cards that he has used to buy gas and other supplies around the Denver area.

“He’s an opportunistic criminal,” he said.

Investigators have released a photo from surveillance video of Sandlin at a Wal-Mart in Commerce City on Wednesday to help generate tips. It shows him with his hair shaved on the sides in a military-like haircut.

Sandlin is accused of stealing a GMC Denali from Golden, where the jail is located, and then a Honda Pilot in Evergreen. He headed slightly farther afield for his latest reported vehicle, a Subaru Impreza stolen in Highlands Ranch, about 25 miles from the jail, on Tuesday. It’s possible he’s already ditched that for another car, Techmeyer said.

He’s surprised Sandlin has stayed so close but admits he’s not an expert. Sandlin is the first inmate to escape the jail in its 27-year history.

Sandlin got out after prying open faulty wire mesh in the fence surrounding the jail’s outdoor recreation yard on the sixth floor of the jail, shimmying through and jumping about 20 feet down to the next level.

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