Escaped inmate with Pasco ties captured after several days on the run in Florida

An escaped inmate with ties to Pasco County has been captured. According to the Franklin County sheriff, 37-year-old Robert Rutherford was found hiding in a home in Apalachicola Thursday evening. 

Deputies learned of his location after a resident called 911.

"This is our man we've been looking for so everyone can rest easy now in Franklin County," Franklin County Sheriff A.J. "Tony" Smith said during a Facebook live posted to the sheriff's office Facebook page.

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Booking photo for Robert Rutherford. 

Rutherford is now back in custody after spending several days on the run.

"About 10 minutes ago, an inmate from the state work crew, from the state prison walked off from a work detail," Sheriff Smith said.

Monday, Sheriff Smith wasted no time alerting the public about Rutherford. Since 2011, he's been serving out his 20-year sentence for armed burglary and stealing property at Franklin Correctional Institute, located about an hour south of Tallahassee.

"Lock your houses, lock your cars. And if this guy does come in your house, use whatever means you have to to protect yourself. I'm going to support you 100%," Sheriff Smith said.

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Pictured: Robert Rutherford

Deputies said Monday afternoon, Rutherford was performing work detail near Battery Park in Apalachicola when he left the area. Within minutes deputies and K-9 units began searching.

"He knew better than to leave, but he did. The good people of Franklin County are not going to put up with it," Smith said.

Tuesday night, Sheriff Smith said Rutherford broke into a vacant home but left before deputies could catch him. Late Thursday, a 911 call came in from someone who told deputies Rutherford was hiding in a home in Apalachicola. The sheriff said it appears he had help.

"People that harbored him are going to jail. Nobody is injured. Nobody is hurt. Nobody is going to be. We appreciate all the hard work everybody did," Sheriff Smith said.