An inmate who has been on the run since Saturday was captured Monday morning in Shelby County.
Shannon Loyd Crumpton, a 36-year-old originally from Columbiana, escaped from a work release program in Montgomery on July 20. He was first noticed missing around 10:38 p.m. Saturday after being accounted for during a 9:30 p.m. institutional count.
Authorities believe he robbed two convenience stores after escaping. The first robbery happened Saturday night in Jemison.
The next one was Sunday morning around 7:40 a.m. in the town of Shelby. In both robberies, the suspect was wearing a Chilton County High School football shirt and shorts and left the scene in a stolen car, a 2000 model Chevrolet Malibu.
Around 12:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon, officers in Shelby County saw car matching the description of the one Crumpton was believed to be driving. They tried to pull it over, but the driver eluded officers. The vehicle was discovered in the deep woods on Sunday night, unoccupied.
On Monday morning, Crumpton was recognized at the Beeswax convenience store on Highway 145 in Shelby County driving another stolen car.
The convenience store clerk, Amanda Falkner, had been keeping up with the search for Crumpton ever since he escaped on Saturday.
"I was sitting outside smoking, he pulls up in a red four-door Saturn. And I noticed the tattoos a little bit getting out of the car, and I thought, 'Please don't be him.' And when he stepped out, I thought, 'This is him,'" Falkner said.
Falkner calmly walked inside the convenience store and Crumpton followed.
"He was real nice, he spoke, and I thought, 'Don't play that, I know who you are,' and he came in. Hesitated whether to cut the pump on for him, but I thought, I can buy some time if I go ahead and cut the pump on," she said.
Falkner said she locked the door behind her, called the sheriff's office, then hid while Crumpton tried to get inside the locked door.
"He was shaking on the door and he kept going around looking," Falkner said.
Crumpton finally drove away, but with Falkner's description of the stolen car and license plate tag, Shelby County deputies spotted him a few minutes later in Chelsea, pulled him over and took him into custody without incident around 10 a.m.
"If it wasn't for the clerk of a store this morning where he was getting gas that took the time to call us, we wouldn't be standing here today talking about him being in custody," Captain Ken Burchfield with the sheriff's office said.
Falkner said she was relieved to know Crumpton was in custody.
"I'm glad they caught him, that took a load off when they came back and said they actually caught him," she said.
Hoover, Calera and Columbiana police departments and the Department of Corrections dog team assisted in the search.
Crumpton has had a total of 143 interactions with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, including 55 felony arrests and more than 20 felony convictions.
Crumpton also has another escape charge from Chilton County in 2004.
When asked how an inmate with such an extensive criminal background and a prior escape charge could end up at a minimum security camp, the Department of Corrections spokesperson Brian Corbett gave a statement which says in part:
"This inmate met all criteria to be eligible for a minimum camp. Crumpton was within four years of his minimum possible release date with a parole hearing schedule in May 2013, he has not had a disciplinary since 2007, and he completed drug treatment in 2011. The bulk of his charges are primarily forgery/bad checks. Try as we may, and we try diligently, predicting human behavior is not possible."
Crumpton is back behind bars on a $1 million bond.
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