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Date of Issue: October 05, 2006

Manatee County inmate captured in Tampa

greig escape pic
James Greig

James Greig, 39, whose last known address was Oak Avenue in Anna Maria, was captured in Tampa Sept. 26, two days after he escaped from a work farm near Port Manatee.

At 2:15 Tuesday, he was captured by Tampa police at a gas station on Nebraska Avenue while seeking a ride back to Manatee County.

At approximately 8:30 a.m. Sunday he escaped from the farm work area that is located behind the jail.

Greig then broke into an unoccupied residence in the 4900 block of Buckeye Road, where he apparently stole some clothes and a Ruger handgun and called for a taxi. The cab driver apparently mentioned that deputies were in the area, and Greig left the cab where it picked him up. He had allegedly asked for a ride to the beach.

Deputies tracked Greig from the taxi to a swampy area where an intense search ensued. Greig was able to elude officers by holding his breath underwater when officers neared him.

The search team included MCSO K9s, airboats, a helicopter and teams from Hillsborough County.

Detectives and the Violent Crimes Task Force picked up from there, hoping to find him at an ex-girlfriend's house or place of employment, or possibly attempting to contact a relative. Greig has family members living in Holmes Beach, where he grew up and attended school, and The Islander learned that police questioned them about Greig’s contacts.

When arrested in Tampa, he first gave a false name to officers. He reportedly was at a telephone attempting to get a ride back to Manatee County when he was arrested.

Greig was arrested in May and again in June on burglary and violation of probation. Greig has a record of arrests dating back to 1986 and has served time in a Florida prison.

According to the MCSO, Greig will be charged with escape and burglary in connection with Sunday’s incidents. He could face up to 30 years for the escape, authorities said.

NewsManatee.com publisher Mike Quinn contributed to this story