ST. GEORGE, SC (WCSC) - The pickup truck believed stolen by three inmates who escaped from the Dorchester County Jail Friday has been found near College Park Road, authorities say.
Investigators say the stolen vehicle, a 2000 Dodge extended cab pickup truck with a diamond plated tool box in the back, was located late Friday afternoon.
The search continues for Donald Little, Michael Chaplin and Matthew Chaplin, the three inmates Dorchester County Sheriff L.C. Knight says pried open a window to get out of the St. George facility early Friday morning.
Knight says the inmates broke off a piece of metal from under a desk and used it as a crowbar to pry open the window.
Knight says they tied together linens to climb down and then climbed over two fences. The trio apparently stole the vehicle from a nearby home after the escape.
"These guys are thin-built so they squeezed through a long narrow open and out," Knight said.
Little was in jail for a probation violation. Michael Chaplin was being held for grand larceny and burglary. His brother, Matthew, was in jail for meth charges, as well as charges of larceny, credit card theft and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Folks living near the jail say the escape was too close to home.
"I come out here this morning, you know somebody escaped? I didn't know and I said I'm out here in the yard, good lord," Edie Hankins said.
"It should concern everybody you know, because you never know what people will do like that. They're in there for a reason," Burnell Cobb said.
Knight says cameras are partially blocked from the window used to make the escape.
He says detention officers make rounds every 30 minutes and looked inside the housing unit, but apparently didn't look in the back of it.
"He has to walk almost down to the back do the room to look may the window," the sheriff said.
Knight says the inmates may have been spotted in Summerville after the escape.
Knight says the current jail is more than 50 years old.
He says the new county jail is scheduled to open in mid-August.
Anyone with information on the location of the escapees should contact the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office at (843) 873-5111.