'Masked bandit' breaks INTO Va. Beach Correctional Center

A masked bandit broke into the Virginia Beach Correctional Center, not out of it.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- A masked bandit broke into the Virginia Beach Correctional Center, not out of it.

Staff have two names for the animal, Bandit or Rockie the raccoon. People say it brightens everyone's day. He stowed away on a pallet from Georgia that was delivering a toolbox to the jail two weeks ago.

Several weeks ago, the Correctional Center received some packages off a truck from Georgia. When the driver took off the pallet, the raccoon jumped off and into a small hole. Since then, it's been around the jail. Staff say they are sure it can get in and out of the space.

"I've been working here for 26 years and I've never heard of a story of someone trying to break in, only trying to break out," explained Rocky Holcomb, Captain of the Criminal Intelligence Unit. 

For weeks, it's been hanging out in the space between a brick wall and two windows at the jail. All you have to do is tap on the window, and the raccoon will come say hi.

Bandit liked the jail so much, he decided to stay.

Virginia Beach Animal Control officers thinks Bandit likely stuck around because of his young age and because he found a source of food and water. They also said he appears to be healthy. He does not have access to the inside of the jail, so he doesn't come into contact with people inside the facility.

After some investigation, sheriff's office staff members determined Bandit has an escape route: a small hole that's too tiny for an adult human, but the right size for a juvenile raccoon.

He frequently makes appearances at the window of the jail's canteen where snacks for the inmates are stored. 

"It breaks the day up. You see something different. We actually have some inmates that come down here and work and they see it down there," Holcomb said."

As of now, it's a waiting game until the animal decides to bond out of the bars.

Animal control set up a trap outside to see if they could catch it. So far, no luck. Staff believe the raccoon is getting food from a nearby dumpster.

Check out this video from the Virginia Beach Correctional Center:

 

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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