Thomas Grimes has been an inmate at the Douglas County Jail since January 13, but he didn’t seem to want to wait until his June 26 trial date to get out of jail.
Douglas County Jail guards were in the middle of their routine 6 a.m. check when they found Grimes’ cell empty.
Now, the 32-year-old Springfield native is on the loose, just 11 days before his scheduled trial date, during which he would face numerous charges including auto theft and eluding police.
He’s also wanted in Lane County for felony domestic violence and other assault charges.
Dwes Hutson with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says the jail has had escapes before, but not usually like this.
“Most of the escapes we see are on some type of work crew that are trusted to be outside the facility doing other jobs and they just walk away. So actually escaping from inside the facility isn’t very common,” Hutson said.
Douglas County residents agree. They’ve never heard of anything like this, and the situation brings up a lot of questions, like what Grimes is capable of.
Residents also wonder about the jail’s level of security.
Hutson says the sheriff’s department is still investigating how grimes got out and are using all their resources to locate him. With Grimes’s Lane County connections, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is reaching out to Eugene and Springfield law enforcement to help track Grimes down.
Grimes is considered dangerous, and the sheriff’s office asks that you call them if you see Grimes or have any other information.
Grimes is 5’8” tall, weighs 150 lbs., has a hazel eyes and a shaved head. Deputies say he was last seen wearing a white sleeveless t-shirt and dark color jeans. If you see Grimes, call 9-1-1 immediately and don’t approach him.