Escaped Prisoner Mocks Police, Insists They Recapture Him

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A 31-year-old Estonian thief who escaped from a Finnish prison on February 29 was "recaptured" a week later, but only after going to some trouble to arrange it.  It’s not entirely clear whether Martin Vaiksaar had decided he wanted to go back to jail, or was just disgusted with the state of law enforcement in his native country, to which he had fled.

Vaiksaar’s escape was somewhat embarrassing to the Finns, since he broke out of a brand-new prison by tying bedsheets together, somehow scaling three successive 23-foot walls, and then walking twelve miles to a ferry terminal where he bought a ticket back to Estonia.  (Reportedly, the prison’s staff did not notice he was missing for a full day.)  Then the Estonian authorities took over not catching him.  Vaiksaar spent a week at his girlfriend’s house before being recaptured, and even then it was only because he basically insisted that the police do their job.

On March 6, Estonian police said that they had apprehended Vaiksaar through "specific police work."   (They would not be more specific.)  But then a TV station aired previously taped footage that told the real story.

Recorded while Vaiksaar was still a fugitive, the footage showed Vaiksaar meeting with the TV crew at a restaurant, and wondering aloud why nobody had looked for him at his girlfriend’s house.  "If you look where prisoners go when they escape, most of them go home," he pointed out.  Eventually, Vaiksaar asked the crew to drive him to a police station so he could tell them he "had found a lost wallet."  He walked in and later walked right back out again, still unarrested.  "I even told them my name," he told the crew, "but they showed no interest in me."  Apparently disappointed by this, Vaiksaar was finally arrested later that day after he began stopping people on the street and complaining that nobody was interested in arresting him even though he was the area’s "most-wanted" fugitive.

Those planning to become fugitives take note: Scandinavia seems to be the place for it.  Based on this story, prison is largely optional there.

Link: AFP via Yahoo! News