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Toombs County inmate back in custody after escape

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 4:17 PM EDT|Updated: May. 14, 2022 at 10:50 AM EDT
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TOOMBS COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - On Saturday, at approximately 10:00 a.m., police say a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputy encountered escapee Robert Lee Presgraves.

Police say he was walking on GA HWY 56, which is about 1.5 miles south of Mount Vernon.

The deputy identified Presgraves and took him into custody without any resistance.

The deputy says Presgraves told him that he was “tired of running.”

Captain Jordan Kight with the Toombs County Sheriff’s Office says Presgraves has been transported to the Toombs County Detention Center at this time.

The Toombs County Sheriff’s Office says they appreciate the help from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in bringing this escape investigation to a close.

ORIGINAL STORY-

It’s been one week since a Toombs County inmate escaped from custody and police say as of today they still don’t have any leads on his whereabouts.

Police say 39 year old Robert Presgraves escaped while being taken back to jail after court last Thursday for sentencing related to multiple theft charges.

Police say Presgraves is “slick” and it’s not all that surprising that he’s been able to hide out for the last seven days. They say with the help of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Division and the technology they have, they will find him, - it’s just a matter of when.

Captain Jordan Kight with the Toombs County Sheriff’s Office said, “he seen an opportunity and he took it and unfortunately it was on our time.”

Surveillance video shows Presgraves as he’s being walked over to the transport vehicle after his court appearance last Thursday. In the video, you can see that he’s handcuffed in a front position. Police say had he been handcuffed from the back … an escape would’ve been more difficult.

“I will say, as bad as I hate to, that I feel that we let ourselves get a little to laxed on handling him.”

Captain Jordan Kight with the Toombs County Sheriff’s Office says after the sentencing a deputy did handcuff Presgraves from the back. Kight says the jailer is who switched his cuffs before putting him in the car.

WTOC asked, “you guys are obviously talking to that jailer correct?”

“Oh yeah. Yes,” said Kight.

From the short time it takes to get from the courthouse to the jail, Kight says Presgraves was able to uncuff one hand and make a move on the driver from the backseat.

“Ultimately, he was trying to get the guard out of our actual truck, the transport truck, and steal the truck. Thankfully, our guard was able to fight him off from that at least.”

You can then see Presgraves hop out and make a run for it. Before running, Kight says Presgraves stole a set of keys from the jailer that they later found in a car he stole and then ditched on the side of the road.

“We believe that there’s a good chance that he’s probably still here in Toombs County. There is a possibility that he may be several counties away with some associates that he may have or know.”

Kight says prior to this escape, the sheriff’s office hasn’t dealt with one in years. But…

“Once is too many, but I have very high standards and we do too as a department.”

Kight says Presgraves does have a lengthy criminal record with a majority of his crimes having to do with theft or drugs. Kight says he doesn’t feel he’s a threat to the community.

“At the end of the day, no matter where he goes or what he does, this isn’t going away and neither are we. We will be here and we will continue to look until we catch him.”

Kight says they met with the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Division again today like they have been doing since day one. He says as of now there’s nothing to suggest the jailer driving Presgraves did anything wrong, but they will continue to look into this through their internal investigation.

We will be sure to update you as information on this case is put out.

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