Campbell County burglar escapes from prison - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Campbell County burglar escapes from prison

Joshua Stephenson provided photo. Joshua Stephenson provided photo.
CAMPBELL COUNTY, KY (FOX19) -

An escaped inmate from a prison in Lexington may be on his way to Northern Kentucky and police need your help to find him.

Joshua Stephenson was serving five years in prison for a string of burglaries throughout Campbell County in 2009.

"We're trying to put an end to this. We take it very personal the fact that we are getting hit with these burglaries and we want to put an end to it,” said Lt. George Schriender to FOX 19 in September 2009.

More than a dozen homes throughout Campbell County had be burglarized in broad daylight within two weeks.

"We had so many at one time. It was just out of the ordinary and kind of driving us insane,” said Howard Trapnell, a criminal investigator for Alexandria Police at the time.

Trapnell says they soon realized the burglars had a plan. They would knock on a door in the middle of the day. If no one answered, they would go around to the backdoor and break-in. On Sept. 24, 2009, the thieves got caught breaking into a home on Springwood Drive not realizing the homeowner worked nights.

"Mr. Stephenson was in the process of breaking down the door when the man opened it,” said Trapnell.

Investigators discovered Joshua Stephenson along with two others had ties to at least half a dozen burglaries stealing tens of thousands of dollars in all.

"He was charged with seven counts of burglary and he received a prison term for that which kind of surprised me to hear he escaped. His time is nearly up. Sometime next year he would have been getting out,” said Trapnell.

Just three months away from being paroled, Joshua Stephenson along with a second inmate Michael Fleet walked away from the Blackburn Correctional Facility on Saturday. Fleet was serving a similar sentence for theft.

Since he is from Northern Kentucky, Trapnell says the convicted burglar could be making his way back.

"Where else is there to go? That's the pattern. Usually they come home hoping somebody will hide them or help them,” said Trapnell. Trapnell expects the escapee won't be escaped for long.

"They are going to get caught. Somebody is going to turn them in or they will turn themselves in when they get cold and wet and hungry. I don't understand why they would do that,” said Trapnell.

Blackburn Correctional Center is a minimum security prison for inmates with less than four years left in their sentence.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Joshua Stephenson or Michael Fleet you are encouraged to call Kentucky State Police or the Blackburn Correctional Center at 859-246-2366.

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