Virginia escapee spotted in Bertie

Published 8:21 pm Saturday, March 21, 2009

A fugitive being sought by the United States Marshal’s Service has been seen in Bertie County.

According to Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins, multiple calls were received by his department about a suspicious vehicle in the Black Rock community near Merry Hill on Thursday, March 12.

Sheriff Atkins said Chief Deputy John Holley received a call about a suspicious vehicle in that area and the caller had a license plate number. When the Chief Deputy ran the plates, it came back to a stolen vehicle, but by the time the sheriff’s office arrived, the vehicle was gone.

“Chief Deputy Holley put out a BOLO (be on the lookout) for the vehicle,” the Sheriff reported. “He received a call from a deputy in Chowan County alerting us the vehicle was probably stolen by the escaped convict.”

The convict is Larry Wayne Dodson Jr., who escaped from Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Lynchburg, Virginia on March 10 while awaiting transfer to the Virginia Department Corrections to serve a seven-year sentence. Dodson was convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, grand larceny and the revocation of a suspended sentence.

Another call came in later March 12 about the vehicle. This time officers with the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office located the vehicle and found the keys inside. While working to process the scene, the BCSO was told to stand down by the United States Marshal’s Service.

“We received a call from the U.S. Marshal telling us they were handling the case and they wanted us to leave the vehicle alone,” Sheriff Atkins said. “We did as they instructed and the vehicle later disappeared.”

Sheriff Atkins said he believed the vehicle was later recovered in Gates County.

While the vehicle has been recovered, the search for Dodson continues.

The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a monetary reward for information leading to the capture and arrest of Dodson. According to the Marshal’s service, Dodson has known associates and ties in Pittsylvania County and Roanoke, Virginia and Chowan County in North Carolina.

Dodson is described as a white male standing 5’-7” and weight 140 pounds. He has brown eyes and black hair.

Anyone with information on Dodson’s whereabouts is asked to call (434) 293-8692 Ext. 25 or the 24-hour line at 1-877-WANTED2.