Authorities are looking for a 40-year-old convicted burglar who escaped from the city jail yesterday afternoon while he was in a fenced, outdoor recreation area, Undersheriff Jim O’Sullivan said today. It was the jail’s third escape in 40-plus years, he said.
The Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office along with U.S. Marshals are looking for Clancy Dan Starling, who was sentenced on a probation violation for two counts of burglary and two counts of larceny, he said.
Starling, who is from Virginia Beach, and 10 other inmates were in a fenced-in outdoor recreation area between 2:15 and 2:30 p.m. Monday when Starling managed to somehow slip through the chain-link, barbed wire fence, O’Sullivan said. At the time, two sheriff’s deputies were supposed to be supervising them with at least one of them keeping an eye on them at all times.
Starling was not discovered missing until today’s 6 a.m. headcount even though there had been a jail-wide head count at 6 last night. It’s only been since April that inmates are allowed in the outdoor recreation area because it’s seasonal.
O’Sullivan said there is an internal investigation taking place to find out why the inmate wasn’t discovered missing until this morning.
“We have an internal investigation to see if our policies and procedures were followed,” he said. “If they weren’t, we’ll take action on that.”
The undersheriff also said he believes two to three other inmates helped Starling escape, and they will be charged criminally.
The jail was on lockdown this morning but has since been lifted. All inmates who were outside with Starling have been interviewed.
“I have to take responsibltiy for it.” O’Sullivan said. “We owe it to the citizens of Chespaeake to provide a a safe and secure facilty. This will be thoroughly invstigated and appropriate measures will be taken.”
Starling is 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds, has brown hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing a white tank top under a white T-shirt, blue shorts and white tennis shoes. He has a right shoulder tribal tattoo, sun tattoo on his neck and half-sleeve tattoo on his left arm.
Anyone with information concerning Starling’s location is asked to call the Chesapeake Police Department non-emergency number: 757-382-6161.