Fugitive’s surprise collar in Colac

COLAC detective Mick Palmer scored a prized catch yesterday afternoon when he nabbed an escaped prisoner near the city’s police station.

Christopher John Clarke, 29, had walked out of the minimum security Langi Kal Kal Prison at Trawalla overnight Wednesday, sparking a statewide alert.

However, his stint on the run came to an abrupt halt when Detective Senior Constable Palmer noticed him at the BP service station on Murray Street at 2.10pm yesterday.

“He was surprised to see me,” Detective Senior Constable Palmer said afterwards.

“The service station is only a couple of hundred metres from the police station.

“He was in the company of a 44-year-old female.

“We remanded them in custody at Colac police station and Ballarat detectives were coming down to conduct interviews.”

Police around the state spent about 30 hours on the manhunt for Clarke, who was serving time for burglary and theft related matters. 

Clarke, who previously lived in Melbourne’s western suburbs, was classified as a low-security prisoner and was eligible for parole next year.  

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