Officials: Escaped Rowan Co. inmate back in prison

by: Tina Terry Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An escaped inmate from Rowan County was captured Tuesday morning on Auction Drive, according to officials.

A spokesman for the Department of Public Safety said Jonathan Dixon was captured in a building in Salisbury.

Eyewitness News was the only station there when law enforcement transported Dixon back to jail.

Officials said he had broken into a nearby business and stole a uniform jacket from a Department of Transportation maintenance building.

The Department of Public Safety said Dixon was serving a seven-year term for breaking and entering, and that he disappeared from Piedmont Correctional Institution south of Salisbury sometime after 11 p.m. Sunday.

Officials said they noticed Dixon missing around 4 a.m. Monday.

Todd Pinion, who oversees prison units for that part of the state, said the search for Dixon included tracking teams with the Department of Public Safety and local deputies.

"Today we found where he broke into a building; our emergency response team went in and he gave up," Pinion said.
Dixon was in the building near the storage company where deputies said Dixon broke in Monday.

Conrad Eaton works there and walked in after Dixon left.

"As soon as I (walked in), I knew right away there was something wrong," Eaton said. "This window here was blasted. The place was ransacked."

Officers said a tipster reported seeing Dixon in the area Monday night and they returned Tuesday morning to search the area.

Conrad said officers eventually made their way farther down the street to find Dixon.

"I'm just finally glad it's over ... he's back where he needs to be." Eaton said.

A spokesman with the Department of Corrections said they're still unsure how Dixon escaped.

Dixon is back in prison under tighter security.

Read our past coverage: Police: Escaped inmate breaks into businesses, eats snacks