SC Dept. of Corrections: Man who escaped work detail 40 years ago recaptured in Delaware

South Carolina News

Jose Chico Romero

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – An inmate who escaped from a work crew in Anderson County 40 years ago has been recaptured, according to the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

Jose Chico Romero, now 64, was captured on Wednesday in Dover, Delaware after an encounter with police in which he presented a fake identification card on December 28th.


He was arrested, processed and released under the name Arnaldo Figueroa, but his fingerprints later came back with a match for Romero, according to a press release.

The Dept. of Corrections said Romero was serving an 18-year sentence for armed robbery in Aiken County when he escaped on Dec. 13, 1979.

At the time of his escape, they say Romero was assigned to a work crew in Anderson County and was being housed at the former Anderson County Stockade.

Jose Chico Romero

The building was being used to house short-term local inmates and SCDC inmates assigned to work in the county as part of the designated facilities program.

“Romero was one of several SCDC inmates assigned to live and work there. Under current classification rules, he would not have qualified for this work-release program,” the department said.

Romero is being held at Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown, Del., on a fugitive warrant and has waived extradition. He also is charged with public intoxication, loitering, third-degree criminal trespassing, second-degree forgery (four counts), criminal impersonation and being an out-of-state fugitive.

Once returned to SCDC, Romero will be required to serve the remainder of his original sentence, which is about seven years, plus any additional time added for an escape conviction.

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