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Evidence collected today shows Cul Priest Jones, an escaped inmate from Hoke Correctional Institution, allegedly committed a breaking and entering in the Roanoke Rapids area.

C. Jones

Jones has been on the lam since his escape from the facility in Raeford last October.

He is believed to have committed crimes in numerous areas since his escape, Chief Deputy Scott Hall of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office said this evening.

Hall said Jones was identified through evidence collected at the scene — a business off Highway 158 outside the city limits. He declined to elaborate on how the evidence was collected and declined to name the business.

In a statement this evening Hall said deputies responded to a breaking and entering and the theft of a motor vehicle.

Investigation by Detective Matt Brown led to the suspect being identified as Jones, who has ties to the area.

Jones allegedly broke into the business and stole numerous items from inside, along with two cars.

Evidence suggests the first vehicle stolen became disabled and another vehicle was stolen, Hall said this evening.

The first vehicle was recovered and the missing vehicle is described as a black 2002 Mercedes E430 which may have independent dealer tags with the numbers ID-145755 or ID-145756.

Warrants have been obtained for Jones’ arrest and they include charges of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, two counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and attempted safecracking.

Hall declined comment on whether there are people aiding and abetting Jones as he remains a fugitive.

Jones, a minimum custody inmate, has been missing since his escape the evening of October 14 of last year.

At the time of the escape Jones was serving a sentence for burglary in the first degree. He was admitted to prison on September 30, 2014, and scheduled for release in January of 2023.

The escape comes after his conviction in 2014 to a term of 7 years and 11 months for first-degree burglary, which was related to a December 2013 crime in which he was shot a by a business owner who was awakened by noise and saw Jones behind the cash register with a handgun.

At the time Jones had been released from Tillery Correctional Center on December 4, 2013, after shooting a Warren County deputy in May of 1991.

Jones had also been identified in a string of break-ins in Roanoke Rapids and was eluding apprehension in the cases when he shot the deputy.

He received a 50-year sentence but did not serve the entire term and was released from Tillery Correctional Center on December 4, 2013, 23 days after he committed the burglary in which he was shot. He served 22 years of the sentence linked to the shooting of the deputy in 1991.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the sheriff's office at 252-583-8201 or Crimestoppers at 252-583-4444.