Authorities suspect that a registered violent offender who escaped from the Jefferson County jail last Friday stole another pickup truck, this time in Twin Bridges, and abandoned it in Dillon on Wednesday morning.
Beaverhead County Sheriff Paul Craft sent out a message alert to Beaverhead County residents late Wednesday that 27-year-old Tory Vincent Gee of Sheridan could be in the Dillon area.
"Take precautions, do not approach, call 911," the message alert said.
Madison County Sheriff Phil Fortner said police got a tip that Gee was seen in the Twin Bridges area earlier in the week. A team of law enforcement officers searched the area twice, the last time Monday night and the early morning hours Tuesday.
“Both times we were unable to locate him and he was able to slip away,” Fortner told The Montana Standard late Wednesday morning.
After his escape from the Jefferson County jail, authorities believe he stole a pickup in Boulder and headed south.
On Tuesday morning, police got another report of a stolen pickup, this time from Twin Bridges, and Gee is suspected in that theft. It was recovered in Dillon but Gee remained at large, Fortner said.
Gee is a white male with a shaved head and face. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 190 pounds with a medium build.
Gee was arrested on Aug. 17 on a $50,000 warrant out of Madison County on suspicion of assault with a weapon, Jefferson County Undersheriff Mike Johnson said previously. He also faces a bail revocation out of Beaverhead County.
Gee is currently on probation and has previous convictions for assault with a weapon and burglary out of Beaverhead County. He is registered as a violent offender by the state of Montana.
Johnson says Gee was able to "compromise" a jail cell in order to escape the facility, but did not provide additional details. Authorities do not have reason to believe he is armed, but given that he broke out of a secure facility, Gee's behavior may be unpredictable, he said.
Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter
Get the latest in local public safety news with this weekly email.