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Cambridge Native Charged With Stealing Army Reserve Weapons Escapes Jail

This article is more than 2 years old.

Federal officials say a former Army reservist charged with stealing 16 guns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester escaped from a Rhode Island detention center Saturday night.

James Walker Morales, 35, was discovered missing from the Wyatt Correctional Center in Central Falls, Rhode Island, at 11:30 p.m.

James Morales (Massachusetts State Police)
James Morales (Massachusetts State Police)

U.S. Marshal Jamie Hainsworth says the Cambridge, Massachusetts, native scaled a building and climbed over a razor wire to escape.

Massachusetts State Police said "information suggested he may have fled into Massachusetts."

A trooper and a tracking dog "picked up Morales' track in Attleboro and tracked to the area under a Route 95 overpass near the Rhode Island line, where the track ended. At that location police found what appears to be discarded prison clothing. The clothing had blood on it."

Police said the end of the track suggests Morales entered a vehicle. State police added that Morales likely stole a vehicle from a BK Mart in Attleboro.

Morales is described as a 6-foot-1, 180-pound African-American with brown eyes and black hair. Police said the stolen vehicle is a green Chevy Lumina with Rhode Island plate 408696.

Authorities urge anyone who spots the suspect to call 911.

The FBI says Morales stole six assault rifles and 10 handguns from the Lincoln Stoddard Army Reserve Center in Worcester in 2015.

He also faces unrelated state child rape charges.

Correction: Due to incorrect information provided by authorities, an earlier version of this post said the vehicle was stolen on Sunday morning, not Saturday night.  

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

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