TORONTO - A violent inmate was somehow able to use a prepaid credit card for a taxi in his bizarre escape during a medical visit at a Toronto hospital.
Toronto Police said Friday that Justin Yates, 39, paid for the cab with “untraceable” means after escaping custody Thursday during an appointment at Toronto General Hospital, near College St. and University Ave.
Det. Const. Aggrey Koech, one of two officers hunting for the inmate, confirmed Yates used a prepaid credit card to pay for a cab he hailed outside the hospital during his getaway — which involved somehow ridding himself of leg irons.
Koech had “no idea” how Yates — escorted by two guards to the hospital — was able to get his hands on the card.
He also said nothing points to Yates having help, but it remains under investigation.
The cab left Yates in the Yonge St. and Dundas St. area.
“We just hope that somebody somewhere knows where this guy is so we can get our hands on him,” Koech said.
Det. Const. Chris Cheung reminded the public to not approach Yates.
“He has a criminal history involving violent offences,” Cheung said, adding Yates has prior convictions for break-ins and physical violence. “We want to warn the public to make sure they’re not just willy-nilly going up to him and trying to stop him themselves ... Call 911.”
Toronto Police started hunting for Yates after he allegedly broke into a Bay and Queen Sts.-area business on Jan. 12, making off with $100,000 in property.
He was arrested on Tuesday in the Parliament and Shuter Sts. area.
Cheung asks members of the public to call 52 Division’s major crime unit at 416-808-5235 if they spot Yates or have information on his whereabouts.
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