Texas Inmate Made 70 Trips to Wal-Mart

He dyed uniform with coffee, shopped for cigarettes
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2010 5:09 PM CST
A Wal-Mart.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A convicted burglar slipped out of prison in Texas to make a late-night run to Wal-Mart for cigarettes, then slipped back in. About 70 different times. The 19-year-old reportedly dyed his prison uniform with coffee so he wouldn't raise eyebrows at the store, reports the Austin American-Statesman. It also helped that he worked as a prison trusty in a fenceless unit.

Officials only got wise by reviewing Wal-Mart’s surveillance footage, which is apparently much better than the prison’s, and the testimony of an informant. A miffed state senator puts the latest bungle in the context of a “system that’s had cell phones on death row” and “that had a loaded pistol turn up in a maximum-security unit.” This incident “might be funny if it weren’t absurd.” Also, why does Wal-Mart have “better security cameras than our prisons?”

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