Local News

Inmates on the Run After Prison-Farm Escape

Posted December 6, 2007

— Authorities are looking for two inmates who left their work assignment at a Northampton County prison farm Wednesday and robbed two hunters.

The inmates, identified as Cloman Smith, 30, and Jesse McCrobie, 27, left the Odom Prison Farm in Jackson sometime after noon but before 2 p.m., Keith Acree, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Correction said.

Authorities consider Smith and McCrobie armed and dangerous. They are also wanted for allegedly robbing two hunters at a Northampton hunting club at about 11:15 p.m. Wednesday.

"They advised them they would not hurt them if they complied with what they were requesting," Northampton County Sheriff Wardie Vincent said.

Acree said one of the inmates apparently used a machete to carry out the robbery, but it was unclear where it came from.

Authorities said they tied up the victims with duct tape and took their wallets, cell phones, a 9 mm pistol, 7 mm rifle, .223 caliber rifle and a red and gold 2005 F-150 pickup truck with North Carolina license plate WXN-9873.

Onslow County authorities said a sheriff's deputy spotted a truck matching that description in the southwest area of that county at about 6 a.m. Thursday. The eputy tried to stop it but it got away.

Onslow authorities also said McCrobie has family and friends there and that Smith has family in Forsyth County.

Anyone with any information about the inmates' whereabouts is asked to contact local law enforcement.

Smith and McCrobie are serving sentences at Tillery Correctional Facility, a minimum-security prison in Halifax County, and were assigned to work at the poultry house at the farm.

Smith is serving a 12.5-year sentence as a habitual felony and is set to be released in 2010.

McCrobie is serving a 3-year sentence for a number of crimes, including drug possession, drug sales, felony breaking-and-entering, larceny and driving while impaired. He is set to be released in September 2009.

A growing list of charges awaits them, including robbery and kidnapping, authorities said.


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  • concernd family Dec 7, 2007

    time will tell for the reason.. ive heard a few stories and i cant see it. but you never know about the prison life till you in there..but hope they got lots of loooooooooobish.

    dont get me wrong i know the mccrobie boy he aint so sweet trust me.. i hope he gets help when and if he goes back..he needs all he can get,,,,,

    i hope and pray for wife and family that its over soon..

    i also hope and pray NOONE gets hurt out of this.....
    its one thing to be tided up, but for someone to get injured just a little is scary enough..

  • smithfielddog Dec 6, 2007

    They weren't on work release - they were assigned to a work farm. They are in prison - and they work in the prison, which is what most people would want.

  • WhatYaGonnaDoNow Dec 6, 2007

    Sorry, not all cell phones come with GPS. Even then, some of the ones that do have it disabled by default. I had to enable mine for E911. Just go in the settings to check.

  • K9Tucker.LoveMYcop Dec 6, 2007

    Smith is serving a 12.5-year sentence as a habitual felony....

    Then way in the world would he be ok'd for work release?

  • Canon36 Dec 6, 2007

    I definately agree agree with more stringent penalties when escaping. These guys can and will cause havoc upon people trying to live without that kind of danger. I hope they are caught before any one gets hurt

  • aintbackingdwn Dec 6, 2007

    I guess it would have made to much sense once the authorities knew what vehicle they were driving to post the plate and truck on the Amber alert highway signs.

  • Navy Vet Dec 6, 2007

    uh ... they took the cellphones so the hunters wouldn't have a way to tattletale on them.

  • gentrytwin2 Dec 6, 2007

    That's the NORTH CAROLINA justice system for ya once yet again!!I can't see HOW he would be released for work if he is a HABITUAL FELON?!!!? Maybe lawsuits will start against the Justice System, and the ones who are responsible for these types of occurences will have to be the ones to pay!! In other words, these individuals shouldn't have even been working on a poultry farm?! They committed crimes, heck, what are they doing TO THE POULTRY?? How can anyone trust them?!

  • Firefox 384 Dec 6, 2007

    If the hunters knew about the release they might have had a chance in capturing them. Glad the thugs did not harm the hunters.

  • Meandmytwo Dec 6, 2007

    You can run but you can't hide. They will pop up soon, they always do. Someone will sniff or rat them out, especially when a "REWARD" is involved!