Inmate recaptured in Tucson

Posted: Updated:
AzDOC inmate Jeffrey Douglas who escaped from a work crew on Tucson's east side Wednesday. By Bob Richardson AzDOC inmate Jeffrey Douglas who escaped from a work crew on Tucson's east side Wednesday. By Bob Richardson

TUCSON, Ariz. -- An alert citizen spotted a prison escapee sleeping on an eastside Tucson park bench Thursday morning and alerted authorities.  The inmate was quickly recaptured.

Jeffrey Douglas, 44, was last seen in a City of Tucson work crew shortly after noon on Wednesday.  The crew supervisor discovered him missing at 12:30 p.m.  That was near the intersection of Harrison and Broadway.

An intensive search was launched with canine crews from various Arizona Department of Corrections facilities.  The search continued throughout the night, but came up with nothing until the citizen spotted Douglas sleeping near Harrison and Speedway at 7 a.m. Thursday.

DOC officials say Douglas will be immediately transferred to the maximum security facility in Eyman.

Douglas started his second prison term last fall on charges out of Maricopa County for auto theft and fraud.

The head of the Arizona Department of Corrections issued a statement praising his employees and members of the Tucson Police Department for getting Douglas back in custody in less than 20 hours after his escape.

The City of Tucson says budget cuts have forced it to use inmate labor to perform landscaping and other maintenance work along city streets.