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For the second time in two weeks, Pennsylvania police launched a manhunt and local residents were angered after inmates escaped from detention centers.
This time, nine teenagers escaped from Abraxas Academy in Morgantown on Sunday evening. Police said all nine were back in custody Monday morning.
The nighttime search took place about 15 miles from where escaped inmate Danelo Cavalcante was arrested last week after he “crab-walked” out of the Chester County Jail and led police on a chase. two weeks that captivated the nation.
Some teens surrendered because they were cold, police said.
The juvenile detainees, all aged 15 to 17, escaped from Abraxas Academy on Sunday before 8 p.m., police said at a news conference Monday morning.
The teens worked together to outrun two guards, steal keys to the establishment, sneak through a side door and climb under a fence.
An estimated 60 authorities were called to a nighttime search conducted with drones and K-9 units, State Police Officer David Beohm said.
Police quickly received information about the group’s whereabouts after at least one of them broke into a car in an attempt to steal it, setting off the car alarm and prompting the owner to call the police.
Four of the teens were taken into custody at 5:47 a.m. Monday morning, approximately 4.5 miles from the detention center. Trooper Beohm said they knocked on a homeowner’s door and surrendered.
“They gave up because they were tired and cold,” he said, adding that they were only wearing snow shoes. “These woods are far from the streets of Harrisburg or Philly.”
The other five were arrested just down the street around 6:30 a.m. after police received a report of a stolen truck and trailer.
Once police spotted the vehicle, there was a “short chase” and one of the boys was apprehended after taking off on foot, Beohm said.
This is the second major incident at Abraxas Academy in three months.
The teens will be charged with escape and questioned for possible other charges, Beohm said. It was not immediately clear whether they would be returned to the detention center.
Sunday night’s escape was the second major incident in Abraxas since July, when a fight between several teenagers turned into a riot involving dozens of people. It took police several hours to gain control, according to NPR member station WHYY.
The center, which opened in 1973, describes itself as a “safe, trauma-informed treatment environment” for at-risk youth, providing services to more than 7,000 youth and their families each year.