Police: County van stolen same day as inmate escaped

August 25, 2004|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Police were investigating a possible connection between the escape of a Franklin County Prison inmate Sunday and the theft of a county-owned van the same day.

Jeffrey Donald Corle, 36, no known address, was able to pry open a padlock on a cell block gate that had a faulty lock between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. Sunday, according to Warden John Wetzel. Corle, who also uses the last name Cole, then scaled a 10-foot fence topped by razor wire, using a plastic pillow cover to protect himself from being cut, Wetzel said Sunday.

Corle was still at large Tuesday, according to state police.

Police reported Tuesday that the county is missing a 15-passenger white 1992 Ford van that was parked behind the Falling Spring Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The county nursing home and the prison are both on Franklin Farm Lane.


The van had Pennsylvania municipal license plate MG-90176 and belonged to the county's In-Home Services agency, police said. The time the van was taken on Sunday was unknown, but police said a window of the vehicle apparently had been broken.

Corle had been in Franklin County Prison since his June 18 arrest by Waynesboro police on charges of receiving stolen property, attempted theft and criminal mischief. In that incident, Corle was spotted behind a building trying to break into a soda machine, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

When police arrived, he was in a van with a broken window and a hot-wired ignition, according to allegations in the affidavit. A check of the van's license plate showed it had been reported stolen in Montgomery County, Md.

Waynesboro police later charged Corle with giving them false identification, according to another affidavit. A criminal history check on Corle printed out to 20 pages, the affidavit stated.

Corle is known to have ties in Maryland, state police said. Waynesboro police listed him as being from Frederick, Md., and Adamstown, Md., in their criminal complaints.

In addition to charges in Franklin County, Corle was being held on two detainers from Maryland, one on a state parole violation on a grand larceny conviction. The second one was issued by the District Court of Maryland for Montgomery County.

According to that detainer, Corle was wanted on charges of assault in the first degree, two counts of attempting to elude a police officer, failure to stop after an accident, failure to return to and remain at the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident.

Corle is white, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs 170 pounds, with a shaved head, blonde beard and mustache, Wetzel said Sunday. He was probably wearing a gray sweat shirt, gray sweat pants, a white T-shirt and white sneakers when he disappeared, Wetzel said.

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