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Cops red-faced over simple escape

Aug. 13, 2003 at 7:52 AM

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Police in Winnipeg hit the ceiling of embarrassment when a prisoner vanished from an interview room, a newspaper said Wednesday.

Randall James Gagnon had been left alone in a locked holding room at the Exchange District police facility, the Winnipeg Sun reported.

Investigators were preparing to interview Gagnon in connection with a July 15 burglary.

"While investigators gathered further evidence leading up to his interview, the male removed some acoustic ceiling tiles (after climbing onto a table) then crawled through the false ceiling to an adjacent vacant interview room," said Winnipeg police spokesman Constable Bob Johnson.

Gagnon allegedly slipped out of the second room, down a set of stairs and out a side door adjacent to a parking lot, Johnson added.

Contractors were immediately called to secure the ceiling.

The Winnipeg Police Service has been leasing the building for more than a decade, although no one before had thought to escape that way.

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