Man finds Weatherford escapees hiding in his backyard

Man finds Weatherford escapees hiding in his backyard

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WEATHERFORD -

A property owner, checking on his for-sale home, finds two wanted men hiding out in the backyard.

Law enforcement spent hours Tuesday afternoon on the hunt for two escapees in Weatherford. Michael Coleman and Lester Burns escaped from authorities, after inmates stole their transport van and took off.  Six other inmates in the van were caught a short time after their escape.

Related: Guards leave van running with eight inmates inside.

"I wanted to come over and sure up a few things and make sure that nobody had broken in and to my surprise, they had," Tyler Whitehead said.

Whitehead's family recently moved, putting the home in the 1200 block of Chestnut Place on the market.  The home is just a few blocks from where the stolen transport van was recovered.  Knowing that, Whitehead said he needed to check the property.

"I walked back there and I knew who they were as soon as I walked through the gate," he said.

Whitehead found the men in the backyard, but says they had kicked in the front door and spent time inside the house as well.

He said the men tried to act as though they were interested in buying the home, but he recognized them from the description law enforcement put out. 

"Just turned around and got back in my truck and went down the corner there and alerted the deputy sheriff," Whitehead said.

He said it was a nerve-wracking moment.

"I had a plan. You know how whenever you walk into a situation like that you think 'well what if those guys are back there,' and it didn't really go according to plan at all," Whitehead joked.

Whitehead said he would sleep better knowing the men were no longer loose in the community.  As a father with another on the way, he said it was a little scary to think about the intentions of the escapees.

Authorities said they were able to take the men into custody without incident.  Escape charges are possible.

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