Inmate busted for stealing on work-release
JACKSON, La. - An inmate who earned the right to work outside prison is in more trouble with the law, accused of stealing from those who gave him a job and a second chance.
The inmate was just months away from being released from prison on his 10-year sentence, but now faces even more time behind bars.
The Valero convenience store in Jackson is busy with customers during the lunch hour Friday. The day before, Raphael Jenkins was booked on charges of theft from the same Valero where he was an employee as part of his work-release program.
"While he was employed there, he was taking liquor, tobacco and other items out of the store," said Det. Dan McKey, with the East Feliciana Sheriff's Office.
Scheduled for release from the East Feliciana Parish jail in October on a previous burglary conviction, Jenkins is now accused of stealing $6,000 worth from the store that he earned the right to work at while still in prison.
"That takes a lot of his good time away," McKey said. "Plus he's looking at more time."
Detectives said they suspect Jenkins stole products from the gas station, then walked to a nearby carwash to sell the products to another person.
The work-release program allows inmates to earn money while still in prison. Inmates have to qualify for the program, which is administered by the department of corrections.
"Raphael will also be charged with escape," McKey said. "Because while he's at work, he's seen on video crossing the street. He is not allowed to leave the job sight."
Detectives have not recovered any of the stolen products. The store owner said Jenkins was employed there for the last several months.