South China prison escaper caught

11:00, March 05, 2010      

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A man who escaped from a prison in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region nearly five weeks ago has been caught by police in the neighboring Guangdong Province, authorities said Friday.

Li Shengrong, 27, was caught Wednesday night in Dongguan, a manufacturing town in Guangdong, a spokesman with the prison administration in Guangxi said.

Li, who was serving a six-year jail term for robbery, escaped from a prison in Beihai City on Jan. 31, after a visit to the prison clinic.

He claimed he was sick and was accompanied by a warden to the clinic, a prison official said.

When he was escorted back to his cell, still handcuffed, Li caught the warden off guard and disappeared into a dense thicket of sugarcane on the prison farm.

He then scaled the two-meter fence and escaped.

Prison workers later found Li's abandoned medical records and uniform near the fence.

Public security authorities launched an immediate manhunt and offered a 50,000-yuan (7,353 U.S. dollars) cash reward for information leading to Li's capture.

In another development, police in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province are still hunting a convict at large.

Chen Congcong, 21, escaped from a jail in Harbin on Feb. 23 with his inmate, 23-year-old Sun Xingchen.

Sun was caught in an expressway toll booth last Friday.

The two had just begun a 10-year jail term for robbery.

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