Prison escapee back behind bars

The inmate who escaped the Centre County prison on Thursday is back behind bars.

State police say Larry Allen Thomas, 40, ditched his orange jumpsuit while trimming weeds outside the CentrePeace building on Benner Pike at about 1:45 p.m. on Thursday. About a half-hour later, a supervisor found the weed trimmer on the ground, but not Thomas. Thomas’ orange prison jumpsuit was found under an outside home heating oil tank.

Police said Thomas had recently received correspondence that gave him concern for his fiancee and daughter. He submitted a furlough request to tend to the situation. Two days later, according to police, he told prison officials he was feeling better and that he wanted to continue as an outside volunteer worker at CentrePeace.

On Friday, Thomas was seen in Pleasant Gap and later on Interstate 80 driving a stolen dark blue 2008 Chevrolet Colorado pickup at about 2 p.m. Police were able to take him into custody, although no details as to where, when or how were available Friday night except that he is in the custody of state police.

Thomas was sentenced in September to serve 11 to 23 months in Centre County Correctional Facility followed by five years' probation for illegally possessing a firearm, according to court documents.

He pleaded guilty to that charge, a felony, and to summary counts of unlawfully killing/taking big game in closed season, unlawful use of artificial light and unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle.