Authorities recapture work crew escapees

Two convicted car thieves who walked away Wednesday morning from a trash pickup crew have been recaptured, authorities said.

Cody Morris of Columbus and Troy Thomas of Louisville, both 23, slipped away from their minimum-security work crew at approximately 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to Indiana Department of Correction spokesman Doug Garrison.

The 10-member minimum security crew was working near the intersection of Jonathan Moore Pike and Two Mile House Road, Garrison said.

Morris is serving a two-year sentence for car theft and receiving stolen property at the Edinburgh Correctional Facility, while Thomas is ordered to serve 18 months in prison for car theft, according to an IDOC news release.

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Both men, who were wearing prison-issued yellow jumpsuits, made it as far as southern Johnson County before they were caught, the release said.

Five-and-a-half hours after the Indiana State Police were notified the men were missing, the two inmates were apprehended 17 miles away near the town of Amity, Garrison said. They were recaptured without incident shortly after 1 p.m., he added.

After arriving at the facility at Camp Atterbury in January, Morris was eligible for release at the end of August, Garrison said. Prison records show that Thomas, who was sent to the Edinburgh facility last month, had Sept. 17 as his earliest possible release date.

IDOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon said he intends to ask Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash, as well as Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper, to pursue escape charges against Morris and Thomas.

Lemmon also expressed gratitude to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies for their efforts to apprehend the two men.

Agencies involved in the search include the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Plainfield Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, Indiana State Police, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office and Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.