Escaped inmate locked up again after chase in stolen car, SC cops say

If convicted on the escape charge, Alberti faces a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison, according to South Carolina law


By Noah Feit
The State

SUMTER, S.C. - The inmate who escaped from a Midlands jail over the weekend is back behind bars, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

Lance Michael Alberti, who escaped from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center Saturday night, was back in custody Monday morning, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Alberti’s escape happened late Saturday after evening shift procedures, according to the release. The inmate being held on a shoplifting charge and a probation violation damaged part of the jail and was able to squeeze through part of an airduct, the sheriff’s office said.

It wasn’t clear he was missing until Sunday morning, according to the sheriff’s office.

Tracking dogs found items discarded by Alberti in a wooded area behind the jail during an initial search, but those efforts to locate the escapee were put on hold after the sheriff’s office said it believed Alberti left the area.

By Sunday night the sheriff’s office had coordinated with the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office after learning Alberti might have been in a truck stop in the Santee area, according to the release.

Law enforcement officers tried to take Alberti into custody, but he fled again in a stolen vehicle and led authorities on a short car chase where he wrecked along a side road near Interstate 95, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.

Alberti ran from the crash into a wooded area, and officers secured and searched the area overnight, using police dogs and a helicopter to help scan the area of U.S. 15 along Exit 93 off Interstate 95, according to the release..

The efforts paid off as Alberti was captured early Monday morning while trying to hide in a residence in Vance, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.

In addition to the the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, the South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Holly Hill Police Department, and Elloree Police Department assisted in the search that led to Alberti’s capture.

“I am grateful for the mass response from our neighboring agencies and their efforts to help put this individual back where he belongs,” Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis said in the release. “This person was determined to take extreme measures to avoid law enforcement and potential consequences. He will now face multiple additional charges for his actions.”

In addition to his original charges, Alberti now faces an escape charge, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said. If convicted on the escape charge, Alberti faces a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison, according to South Carolina law.

Alberti also faces multiple charges from Orangeburg County related to his capture, according to the release.

Alberti was originally brought into the jail under a false name late Friday night on the shoplifting offense, the sheriff’s office said. During the booking process, his true identity was verified, and detention officers then confirmed an outstanding warrant by the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services and applied a hold, according to the release.

Alberti was also charged with providing false identity and on Saturday his bond was denied pending the extradition process for his outstanding warrant, the sheriff’s office said.

Information about where Alberti was being extradited to, and the charges he was facing, was not available.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said the area of the jail where Alberti broke out was repaired and re-enforced in an effort to prevent any more escapes.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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