Burglar escapes from prison work crew

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

September 6, 2006

A professional burglar who was convicted in November of breaking into five Hood River businesses has escaped from a prison work crew.

Jeffrey Scott Fisk, 41, was last seen in the late morning of Aug. 30. He was an inmate at the Shutter Creek Correctional Institute in Portland and was with the work crew near Florence.

As of press time on Tuesday, no further details were available on how he escaped. A notice from the prison said he may have a state-issued gas card in his possession.

When last seen he was wearing khaki pants and shirt. The shirt had a Department of Corrections logo on it. Fisk is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has gray/black hair and brown eyes.

Fisk was serving multiple 12 to 13-month sentences for second degree burglary. At the time of his arrest by Hood River County officials in January of 2005, he was a suspect in more than 100 burglaries in the Mid-Columbia area.

Those crimes all involved residential and commercial burglaries in Hood River, Wasco and Klickitat Counties.

In 1996, Fisk was convicted of multiple burglaries in Benton County. According to reports, he has not only served time in Oregon facilities, but in Florida prisons as well.

Last November, Fisk’s court case in Hood River took an unusual twist when he attempted to pick apart some of the charges against him.

Fisk told Judge Paul Crowley that he hadn’t technically entered one of the five businesses on District Attorney John Sewell’s list. He was set to plead guilty to burglarizing several downtown establishments.

In exchange, Fisk was going to be let off the hook for similar crimes at 17 other commercial establishments throughout the valley.

“Basically, I just popped the door (to Mall 202) and then ran off,” Fisk told Crowley.

He said the building had been surrounded by officers 11 months earlier. So, if he had been inside, he would have been unable to avoid capture. Fisk said that he fled the scene and was not, in fact, apprehended until several hours later.

Sewell informed the judge that Fisk had been observed in the act of forcing open the back door of Mall 202, as well as two other businesses in that vicinity. He said tools taken from Fisk’s vehicle and home were matched with pry marks any many other enterprises.

“Anything that comes out of the defendant’s mouth has to be taken with a grain of salt. Especially when his criminal history entails 11 other burglary and theft convictions,” said Sewell.

He continued his blistering rebuke of Fisk by telling Crowley, “I have little faith that he’ll come out of prison any less of a thief than he is now.”

Fisk was sentenced by Crowley to 65 months in prison and ordered to pay $14,439 in restitution.

He has strong community ties to The Dalles, where he grew up. His parents and other family members still live there. So prison authorities believe that Fisk may return to the Gorge.

Any local resident with information about his whereabouts should call the non-emergency dispatch line at 386-2711.

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