Violent offender and escape artist David Wiebe is on the lam again.
It’s the third time Wiebe has broken out of the Whitehorse Correctional Centre, a dilapidated, 39-year-old cinder-block jail nicknamed The Sieve because of its frequent breakouts and occasional break-ins.
This time, Wiebe’s escape was discovered when he failed to show up for a 6 a.m. shift in the kitchen.
The jail’s kitchen steward thought he was lounging in bed, but officers dispatched to the dorm to rouse him found a cleverly arranged pile of blankets and pillows in his cot.
A nearby window showed signs of a break out.
“There was damage to the window including two broken bolts and two (flat metal) bars that were broken off,” said Whitehorse Correctional Centre superintendent Phil Perrin.
“It was a tight squeeze, but he was able to get through.”
Wiebe, 38, had been housed in the jail for several months while awaiting sentencing after being convicted of aggravated assault in March.
But this is not the first time Wiebe has broken out of the medium-security facility.
He escaped four years ago in a strikingly similar fashion.
In 2002, Wiebe fled while awaiting trial for break-and-enter, possession of stolen property and drug possession.
He was found riding on the back of a bicycle driven by someone he didn’t know and was recaptured minutes after escaping.
Later in court, Wiebe claimed he escaped through a space where the bars had already been cut, then hopped the barbed-wire fence.
On another occasion Wiebe did a “walk away” that went unreported, said Perrin.
Wiebe is a white male with brown eyes, brown hair and a medium complexion. He stands five-feet-seven-inches tall and weighs 151 pounds.
He has a tattoo on his upper right arm that reads: “Fuck the World.”
Police advise against approaching Wiebe, but if you see him or have information about this crime contact the Whitehorse RCMP or Crime Stoppers.
WCC is currently conducting an investigation into the breakout and expects the results within two weeks, said Perrin.
Correctional officers do hourly bed checks overnight, said Perrin. “But, of course, it’s a challenge for them because they’re dormitories so they have to make sure they’re in the bed but not wake them at the same time.”
Police estimate Wiebe escaped between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday.
There were six to eight prisoners sleeping in the same dormitory, said Perrin. All of them were on kitchen duty.
Wiebe is the first inmate to escape this year.
Last Thursday at 10 p.m. an 18-year-old woman was accosted by an adult male while walking down Fourth Avenue near the Qwanlin Mall.
He tried to grab her, but the woman fought back and, finally, she ran away.
The man is 18 to 25 years old with a stocky build and dark hair that hangs almost to his waist.
Described as a First Nations man, he has dark eyes topped with heavy brows, a round face specked with stubble and a fresh cut on his right cheek.
He was wearing a sleeveless jean jacket over a dark T-shirt, faded blue jeans with tattered cuffs held up with a big belt buckle and brown leather, steel-toed boots covered in water stains.
Any witnesses are asked to contact the Whitehorse RCMP or Crime Stoppers.