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Work release inmate takes night off

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP
Advance Managing Editor
A work release inmate at J.O. Davis Correctional Facility allegedly walked off the job Thursday afternoon and took the night off only to be tracked down by dogs the following morning in Baldwin County.
Jerry Crook, a 27-year-old, was serving a three-year sentence at the minimum security facility outside Atmore for unlawful breaking and entering charges in Mobile County.
Crook was working along with other members of a work crew at Oak Hill Cemetery in Atmore when he was first noticed missing. J.O. Davis Captain Walter Allen said the inmate had asked to use the bathroom and was granted permission. Guards noticed he was missing at approximately 2:10 p.m.
Officials also said they notified the Staton Communication Center in Montgomery which lets other law enforcement agencies across the state know about the escape.
The tracking dogs had little luck on Thursday. They stayed around the vicinity of the cemetery until 10:30 p.m.
No news regarding Crooks' whereabouts arose until Friday morning when Holman Correctional Facility Assistant Warden Jerry Farrell said they received a call from an acquaintance of the inmate.
The female resident, whose identification is unknown, called the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office and Holman prison to report the alleged burglary attempt. Soon, the tracking dogs were on the scene to make another attempt to bring the escapee back.
Farrell said Crook had heard the dogs and was waiting for them.
Crook will not get another opportunity to walk off the job, at least not anytime soon.
Farrell said that Sgt. Andy Barddock and David Martinie deserve a much of the credit for capturing the inmate because they had handled the dogs. Baldwin County Deputy Jeff Dunn also assisted in the search Friday morning.