Crime

A prison inmate stole a vehicle in an attempt to escape. Police say he’s back in custody

An SCI Huntingdon inmate is back in custody after police say he walked off a work detail and stole a vehicle in an attempt to escape.
An SCI Huntingdon inmate is back in custody after police say he walked off a work detail and stole a vehicle in an attempt to escape. Centre Daily Times, file

After a brief search, police say a Huntingdon state prison inmate who walked off a work detail is back in custody.

State police at Huntingdon say John Adam Bertolette, 26, walked away just south of Walmart on state Route 26 at 12:45 p.m. Friday while working on a carpentry project.

Superintendent Kevin Kauffman said prison officials immediately notified state police and the Office of Victim Advocate, and sounded the prison’s escape whistle.

After escaping, police say Bertolette stole a car from a nearby housing development and attempted to flee.

While searching the area, police spotted and stopped the stolen vehicle on Route 26, just south of Marklesburg.

Police say Bertolette was taken into custody without incident at 1:20 p.m., and is no longer a threat to the community.

Bertolette is serving a 10-20-year sentence for causing catastrophe out of York County. He has been housed at Huntingdon state prison since September 2012.

State police at Huntingdon and Department of Corrections officials are conducting investigations. The prison is locked down and visits have been suspended until further notice, according to a release.

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