Polk Deputies Find And Arrest Escaped Inmate In Lakeland

Polk Deputies Find And Arrest Inmate

Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies have located and arrested 45-year-old Joseph Flanagin, the inmate that escaped Thursday afternoon in Bartow.

Flanagin was found in the Providence and Kathleen Road area in North Lakeland. Deputies have taken him into custody where he will face charges of escape and grand theft.

Flanagin of Lakeland was working as a trusty Thursday afternoon at the Polk Board of County Commissioners fleet maintenance garage at 2490 Bob Phillips Road at 3:30 p.m. when he was noticed missing.

Escaped inmate
Mug Shot of Joseph Flanagin

Officials say Flanagin took a white Ford pickup truck that has since been recovered.

Authorities describe Flanagin as a white male, six feet tall and weighing about 180-200 pounds. He has brown hair color, a shaved head and hazel eyes.

He was arrested on September 22 and charged with Violation of Probation Petit Theft 3rd Conviction. Flanagin was sentenced to 300 days in county jail where he already served 66 trusty days, which he earned due to good behavior. He was scheduled to be released in March 2017.

Polk deputies and Lakeland police conducted an active search throughout the evening and night hours of Thursday in the north Lakeland area. Officials located Flanagin at around 7:45 a.m. Friday morning.

As more information on Flanagin’s whereabouts and arrest become available News Talk Florida will report it.

Inmate Escapes Around Florida

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, between July 2016 and September 2016 there were three inmate escapes in the state of Florida. All three of those escapes were from Contracted Work Release Centers and all were recaptured within 24 hours of the escape.

Escape rates are lower than those of the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2015-16 going from 0.18 escapes per 1,000 inmates to 0.03.

From July 2014 to June 2015 there there a total of 73 inmate escapes in Florida. 70 of those were recaptured and 61 of those escaped from Contracted Work Release Centers.