January 5, 2017 / 9:38 PM / 3 years ago

Fugitive accused of military gun heist caught in Massachusetts

A wanted poster distributed by the Massachusetts State Police January 2, 2017 of James Morales, 35, who is wanted in connection with stealing weapons from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Massachusetts. Massachusetts State Police/Handout via Reuters

BOSTON (Reuters) - Police captured on Thursday a Massachusetts man who escaped from a Rhode Island jail where he was awaiting trial on charges of stealing weapons from a U.S. Army Reserve facility.

James Morales, 35, escaped from the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island on Saturday, prompting a manhunt that spanned both states.

Police located him when a man matching his description robbed a bank in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside Boston, on Thursday morning.

After an hours-long search by police helicopters, officers found Morales in nearby Somerville and arrested him, the Massachusetts State Police said on Twitter.

Morales is suspected of stealing six military rifles and 10 handguns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester, about 45 miles (70 kms) west of Boston, in 2015.

He broke into the facility through a kitchen window, federal prosecutors said, citing surveillance video and an electronic monitoring bracelet Morales had been ordered to wear by a court as a condition of release on bail for a separate sexual assault charge.

Morales had gone to the facility earlier that week to pick up copies of his military discharge papers.

Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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