Yakima police officials are fuming over the furlough of a prolific car thief and meth addict now suspected of committing a carjacking at gunpoint over the weekend.
Jacob John Lucey, 29, has been on the lam for two weeks, ever since he was granted a 24-hour furlough from the Yakima County jail to visit his dying mother and failed to return. Police say he’s dangerous.
“He’s made threats in the past that he’s not afraid to engage in a gun fight with police officers, he’s got a very long criminal record and now he’s wanted for a major felony,” Capt. Rod Light, a spokesman for the police department, said Wednesday. “He going to be a difficult character to round up.”
Lucey was released from prison in January after serving 8½ years of a 10-year sentence for a 2002 shooting that critically injured a Union Gap woman.
Since his release he’s been in trouble several times, first in April when he got three days for a parole violation and then in August, when he was picked up for a string of car thefts.
Court records show Lucey reached a plea deal with prosecutors on Oct. 30 and, pending sentencing, was granted a 24-hour furlough the following day to expire Nov. 1.
The furlough was approved by Superior Court Judge Blaine Gibson at the request of Lucey’s attorney and agreed to by the prosecutor in the case. Neither the prosecutor nor Lucey’s attorney returned calls seeking comment.
Harold Delia, spokesman for the Superior Court judges, said a recording of the hearing shows the request was made because Lucey’s mother was dying. That information could not be independently verified Wednesday.
“Usually the prosecutor will argue, but that doesn’t appear to be the case here, I assume because the mother was dying,” Delia said.
Light said neither police nor Lucey’s probation officer were notified that Lucey had been released from jail, and he questioned why more care was not taken to make sure he did not escape.
“Why didn’t they escort him there in shackles? It’s a very frustrating situation for the police,” Light said.
Investigators have since linked Lucey to a carjacking Sunday morning in which a man had his vehicle and cash stolen at a home near the corner of Fourth Avenue and I Street.
Light said he and his colleagues want to find Lucey and return him to jail. He is described as a 6-foot-1 white male with a medium build and a prominent “666” tattoo across his neck.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call 911. “Don’t approach him, don’t try to detain him,” Light said. “He needs to be considered very dangerous.”
• Chris Bristol can be reached at 509-577-7748 or email@example.com.