Officials Continue Search for Inmate Escaped from Black Hawk County Jail
KCRG/Gazette/Courier Staff Reports
WATERLOO, Iowa — Officials from numerous law enforcement agencies continue to look for an inmate who escaped from the Black Hawk County jail Thursday afternoon before robbing a pharmacy.
Black Hawk County Sheriff’s office authorities reported a security breach around 3 p.m. Thursday after 25-year-old Jeremy Mask escaped from the jail through an exterior door on a fire tower.
Officials found a striped inmate outfit on the second floor of an apartment building across the street from the jail. Authorities later received a call about a red Ford F-150 pickup truck stolen from the same area in which Mask’s jumpsuit was found. The truck was then found in Traer, Iowa, at an address associated with Mask, officials said. Mask is described as 6 foot, 190 pounds with a short brown beard.
Mask then engaged officers in a short pursuit through Traer before he lost them. At around 4:45 p.m., officials received a report about a robbery at the Medicap Pharmacy in Toledo, Iowa. The suspect in that robbery matched Mask’s description, officials said.
Officials then received a report of a stolen 1998 light blue or gray Mercury Grand Marquis with Iowa handicap license plate Z 0010, which was seen leaving the area.
Officers from the Iowa State Patrol, the Tama County Sheriff’s office, the Toledo Police, the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation, and other agencies are assisting the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s office in their search for Mask, officials said. Crews are scouring areas around Toledo, Traer, Marshalltown, Tama, and Victor, Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson said. Officials have also distributed information statewide to law enforcement agencies, hoping for leads.
Thompson said maintenance was being performed in the building at the time of Mask’s escape. Two different crews in the jail were working on improving the facility’s security camera system and inmate visitation phones. But Thompson said the contractors’ presence does not forgive the escape.
“So with two contractors working within the facility, again, it’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation that there’s quite a bit of movement and the potential of adding and convoluting the security breach,” Thompson told KCRG.
Mask was in jail for first degree robbery and a probation violation. He was booked into jail on April 25, according to records.
Officials have asked the public to call 911 if they see anyone or any vehicle resembling the descriptions.
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