U.S. marshals have raised the amount of the reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of a prisoner who escaped from the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution in Enfield earlier this month.
The U.S. marshals violent fugitive task force cash reward was increased Tuesday from $1,500 to $2,500.
Police said 25-year-old Jerry Mercado might have gotten away by stowing away under a vehicle on Jan. 7 and the search for him continues. He was at 10:20 a.m. that day.
During a news conference on Jan. 8, state Department of Correction (DOC) Commissioner Scott Semple said investigators believe a vehicle was involved in the escape because there were no breaches to the facility's outer fence.
Semple said there were two vehicles on the property that day - a state police van and a garbage truck - and investigators are looking into whether Mercado stowed away under one of the vehicles to escape.
Authorities are reviewing security protocols at Carl Robinson and at all 15 DOC facilities across the state, Semple said.
Mercado, who is from Hartford, was serving a three-year sentence for third-degree burglary charges at the time of the escape. Officials from the DOC said he is classified as a "low risk" offender, but police are asking people to be on alert.
"Mercado may have fled the state of Connecticut and may be hiding out in neighboring states, including the New York City metro area where a tip was generated from," the U.S. Marshals wrote in a press release on Tuesday.
He is 5 feet 4 inches and weighs 137 pounds and might be wearing a combination of a tan jumpsuit, white T-shirt and gray sweatshirt. He has two visible tattoos: One on his neck reads "time waits for no one" and he has another on his left temple.
Anyone who thinks they’ve seen Mercado should call 911 immediately, call the U.S. Marshals at (800) 336-0202 or email them here. Police stress that he should not be approached.
Carl Robinson is primarily a dormitory-style facility that houses around 1,500 inmates on Shaker Road in Enfield.