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Update: Escaped Custer County inmate arrested in Warr Acres

UPDATE: Around 9:10 a.m. on Monday, Warr Acres officers went to the 5900 block of N.W. 45th St.

According to initial reports, that’s where Van Brunt was taken into custody.

Police say Van Brunt could face multiple charges, including grand theft auto.

CUSTER COUNTY, Okla. – Authorities say they are looking for an inmate who escaped custody in Custer County early Sunday morning.

According to Kenneth Tidwell, with Custer County Sheriff’s Office, deputies are searching for 36-year-old Nicholas Todd Van Brunt.

Tidwell says Van Brunt stole a vehicle that was parked at the sheriff’s office in Arapaho at approximately 10 a.m. Sunday.

Van Brunt had trustee status at the jail, which typically means an inmate has greater freedom, can do odd jobs on the premises and doesn’t always have to be locked up in a cell.

That vehicle was a black 2002 Ford Escape with Oklahoma tag 479JKA.

A short time later, witnesses spotted him at the Wal-Mart in Weatherford.

Officers say he may now be driving a blue 2008 Dodge minivan with Oklahoma tag 580GOQ.

Authorities say the minivan was reported stolen from the Wal-Mart about the same time Van Brunt was spotted.

“The only information we received was the subject got the vehicle keys from the owner of the vehicle,” said Sgt. Austin Ellis, with the Weatherford Police Department.

Weatherford police entered the stolen vehicle information into a national crime database and searched their city for any signs of it.

“So far, we haven’t had any hits or leads regarding the whereabouts of that vehicle,” said Sgt. Ellis.

Amy Perez lives right across the street from the Custer County Jail and said she’s never felt unsafe, before this.

“Pretty scary, I got two kids, an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old, so it’s pretty scary,” said Perez. “I mean, we felt pretty secure. You see on every angle of the jail there’s a camera. So as far as breaking in here or stealing a car, we thought well they’d be dumb to do it because they’d be caught. But obviously, he wasn’t too worried about it.”

Barbara Preston also lives right by the jail.

“I really didn’t get too shook up about it. I told her I said well if he comes in, I’ll just invite him and fix him a cup of coffee and wait for somebody to come get him,” said Preston.

She says she witnessed another escape when the jail used to be on the top floor of the courthouse.

“They had sheets. And they, I don’t know how they got through the bars, but they did,” said Preston.

Now, many are left wondering how Van Brunt had achieved trustee status.

“I don’t know what they have to do to become a trustee,” said Preston.

And how he was able to escape the jail just one day before he was scheduled to appear in court.

Van Brunt was scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon in Custer County on a charge of grand larceny.

He is also facing numerous other charges, including second degree burglary in Logan County and identity theft in Oklahoma County.

Van Brunt has family and friends in the Yukon and Midwest City areas, according to Tidwell.

If you know of his whereabouts, please contact the sheriff’s office at (580) 323-1616.