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Alleged Bank Robber Tricks Galveston County Jailers Into Letting Him Go

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Over the weekend, a Galveston County Jail inmate escaped in plain sight. In fact, jailers just let him out by accident.

Late Saturday, around 11:20 p.m., accused bank robber Alex Washington walked on out of the jail by pretending to be another inmate who had just secured a $100,000 bond; jailers didn't notice he was missing until an hour later. Washington and the other inmate — who had, coincidentally, been booked on identity theft charges — switched identities by swapping wristbands, similar to those used at hospitals, Sheriff Henry Trochesset told the Houston Press. Washington contacted a bond company using this man's identity, according to Trochesset, and somebody else posted the bail for him.

Trochesset said that Washington and the other man, who was booked nine months ago, appeared to be working on the escape plan for a long time. "From my understanding, the individuals cut their hair the same, grew the same facial hair and there's only about an inch difference in their height," Trochesset said. 

When inmates are released, Trochesset said, the jailers look at the personal information and photo on that wristband, and these two inmates looked alike.

Washington, who stands accused of federal bank robbery charges and faces up to 25 years in prison, was finally captured Sunday on Bolivar Peninsula around 8 p.m., with help from the U.S. Marshals. Two others suspected of aiding in the escape were brought in for questioning last night, but Trochesset said the bond company isn't suspected of taking part.

The sheriff's office is now investigating how it got duped. 

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